Intel to Invest in 3 UAE Tech Firms

DUBAI - Intel Corp., the world’s largest maker of computer chips, is investing in three UAE-based 
technology companies.

Intel said in a Press briefing on Wednesday it will invest in Conservus International FZ-LLC, Pulse Technologies FZ-LLC, and Vertex Animation Studio FZ-LLC.

Conservus International FZ-LLC, an IT/media marketing company, designed and developed a digital targeted advertising medium known as MyConservus Portal.

Pulse Technologies FZ-LLC manufactures building automation systems, catering to property and hotel developers across the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Europe.

Vertex Animation Studio FZ-LLC focuses on animation, virtual reality applications and 3D multiplatform games via a multitude of technological platforms. Wednesday’s briefing coincided with the official visit of Intel Corp. president and CEO Paul Otellini who was received by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

At the meeting, Otellini lauded Dubai’s status as a progressive regional technology and trading hub, citing the emirate’s world-class logistics facilities. Although the amount invested in each of the companies was not disclosed, Intel Corp. vice-president and Intel Capital president Arvind Sodhani said funding for these new investments will come from the $50-million Intel Capital Middle East and Turkey Fund.

The fund invests in companies developing innovative hardware, software, local content, and services throughout the Middle East and Turkey.

“Intel Capital is committed to investing in local companies and encouraging entrepreneurship in technology in the Middle East to help provide communities with useful technology platforms,” said Sodhani.

Sodhani said Intel Capital, the global investment arm of Intel Corp. will assist the companies in pursuing regional growth and development plans in addition to extending their product offerings. Intel Capital Middle East director Feroz Sanaulla said the company has a strong pipeline for future investments in the region where it intends to deploy “several hundred millions dollars” in the coming months.

Intel Corp is increasing its presence in the region in its bid to generate new revenue sources amid the global economic recession. The California-based chips maker last month said it will close five plants and lay off 6,000 employees in the Silicon Valley.

As part of its expansion in the region, Intel Capital last November also invested in UAE-based Sphere Networks, an emerging national software development firm specialising in enterprise management, in which Dubai Silicon Oasis is also a shareholder.

Since 1991, Intel Capital has invested more than $7.5 billion in about 1,000 companies in 45 countries. In that timeframe, 168 portfolio companies have gone public on various exchanges around the world and 212 were acquired or participated in a merger.

In 2008, Intel Capital invested about $1.59 billion in 169 companies with 62 per cent of funds pumped outside of North America. Intel Capital makes equity investments in innovative technology start-up companies, ranging from hardware, software, and services targeting enterprise, home, mobilit, health and consumer Internet.

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