Global semiconductor giant Qualcomm Inc. has launched $150 million (Rs 980 crore) venture capital fund targeted at Indian startup companies across all stages as part of its commitment to India.

The American company announced this investment after its executive chairman Paul Jacobs met the India Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Digital Economy event in San Jose on Sunday.

The investment will be routed through Qualcomm Ventures that will advise and direct Qualcomm’s activities with respect to these strategic investments, the company said in a press statement.

Qualcomm has been investing in Indian start-ups since 2007 and boasts more than 20 companies in its portfolio including Housing.com, ZopNow, Capillary Technologies and MapmyIndia, among others.

“Since Qualcomm’s first India investment in 2007 and with full-fledged presence starting in early 2008, we continue to invest broadly to strengthen India’s overall economy,” said Nagraj Kashyap, senior vice president of Qualcomm. “We are committed to providing these companies with the support needed to help propel them forward in the competitive Indian region. We’re excited about the new prospects in India and look forward to growing our portfolio.”

This year the total VC deals surpassed the total deals of Private Equity (PE) companies. In the first half of 2015, as many as 363 VC deals were sealed, three times more than the number of PE deals, which stood at 99, as per data available with Grant Thornton. Traditionally, in terms of the total deal size, venture capital funding has been smaller when compared to private equity funding.

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Denoted by data collected for this period, which shows that the total venture capital funding stood at $1.9 billion compared to $5.1 billion pumped in by private equity funds.

Initiatives such as the QPrize competition, a global seed investment competition, as well as an early stage fund, are part of Qualcomm’s efforts in encouraging early stage entrepreneurs.


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