Samsung, the world's largest maker of mobile phones, unveiled two venture funds to invest a total of US$1.1 billion, aimed at creating new businesses for its unit that makes memory chips and electronics parts.
The company announced the $1bn Samsung Ventures America Fund and the $100 million Catalyst Fund for early stage startups, as well as a strategy and innovation centre in Menlo Park, California.
"We must reach out to global hot spots and global talent," Young Sohn, the president and chief strategy officer of device solutions for Samsung, said. "This is the epicentre of disruptive forces."
Like other large technology companies such as Intel, Google and Microsoft, Samsung is trying to use its cash to encourage the development of technology that will benefit its business in the future. Traditional venture capital investors are not investing in basic science and technology startups, creating a gap that Samsung intends to help fill, Mr Sohn said.
Samsung's venture arm, now headquartered in Seoul, has more than $1bn in assets under management, and did 20 deals worth $160m in 2012, Mr Sohn said. Investments by the new funds will be in the areas of internet-connected devices, mobile health, computer-human interface, cloud-data centres and mobile privacy, he said.
* Bloomberg News