By Godson Umejiego, Correspondent, USA
Qualcomm Ventures has announced new investments in four companies to help advance innovation and accelerate 5G adoption within the ecosystem, through its 5G Ecosystem Fund. The companies include Celona, an enterprise networking platform provider that brings 5G to enterprises; Cellwize Wireless Technologies Inc. (Cellwize), a global enabler in mobile network automation and orchestration; Azion, an emerging provider of edge computing platform solutions; and Pensando Systems, a company pioneering the new edge services model of enterprise and cloud computing. To date, Qualcomm Ventures has invested over US$170 million in the global 5G ecosystem to support 5G innovation and drive 5G adoption.
“Qualcomm is leading the world to 5G and creating a robust ecosystem of technologies that will usher in the new era of connectivity. We are committed to supporting companies with the vision to realize 5G’s potential impact on the mobile ecosystem, and its ability to reshape industries entirely.” said Senior Vice President, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and global head of Qualcomm Ventures, Quinn Li,. “We are thrilled to support Celona, Cellwize, Azion and Pensando Systems to scale their businesses and accelerate 5G deployment and adoption.”
Qualcomm is a world leading wireless technology innovator and a driving force behind the development, launch and expansion of 5G. This provides Qualcomm Ventures with the unique ability to invest in startups innovating in the 5G ecosystem, including companies such as Affirmed Networks, Inc., Altiostar Networks, Inc., Airspan Networks, Inc., Beijing Baicells Technologies Co., Ltd., Jio Platforms Limited and others.
The goal of Qualcomm Ventures’ global 5G Ecosystem Fund is to transform breakthrough innovations and technologies into reality by using the power of 5G, accelerate 5G innovation, and drive 5G adoption beyond the smartphone. Along with capital investments, Qualcomm Ventures provides entrepreneurs access to Qualcomm Technologies expertise and networks, helping them build tomorrow’s global businesses.
“As 5G continues to evolve, networks are shifting to a more open and virtualized model, and that is true for private networks too. In addition to being more flexible and open, automation and edge computing will be key features to seamlessly manage future 5G networks and support low latency applications. Qualcomm Technologies, through our 5G RAN platforms, is dedicated to support this shift and enable new and innovative 5G network deployments,” said SVP and GM, 4G/5G, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc, Durga Malladi. “As a part of this initiative, we are pleased to be working with companies such as Celona, Cellwize, Azion and Pensando Systems on this evolution of enterprise networks, and we are eager to collaborate with other companies to transform industries and use cases with 5G technologies.”
“Celona is excited to work with Qualcomm Technologies as we push the boundaries of wireless connectivity in the enterprise,” said CEO and co-founder at Celona, Rajeev Shah. “With private 5G, the entire industry needs to rethink enterprise wireless networks – from product architectures to go-to-market models. We are looking forward to connecting with Qualcomm Technologies’ vast ecosystem of technology partners to lead the industry in enabling 5G connectivity in the enterprise.”
“Qualcomm Technologies is an industry leader in spearheading the research and development of technologies that are making the 5G connected world a commercial reality” said CEO of Cellwize, Ofir Zemer. “We are very excited to be working together on this important and impactful mission, and to collaborate on accelerating 5G.”
“The advent of 5G and software-defined networking (SDN), the proliferation of IoT devices and the growing demand for serverless applications are important enablers for Edge Computing, which processes data closer to where it is generated or needed”, said CEO at Azion, Rafael Umann. “At Azion, we simplify how enterprises and service providers build and run applications at the edge, providing a software-defined, open and programmable full-stack edge platform. We are excited to work with Qualcomm Technologies and its ecosystem to accelerate the adoption of 5G and edge computing”.
“While previous generational shifts have primarily focused on mobile speeds and services, 5G has the potential to transform our lives far beyond phones” said CEO of Pensando Systems, Prem Jain. “In addition to helping us scale our business, this investment from Qualcomm Ventures brings us an investor with a deep understanding of 5G technologies and requirements, as well as strong ecosystem relationships in every major market from healthcare to retail, automotive and manufacturing”.
Qualcomm Ventures has a long history and strong track record of investing in leading global start-ups with over US$1.5 billion dollars deployed and over 360 investments made since the group started in 2000. Eleven portfolio companies had unicorn exits in the last five years, including Affirmed Networks, Zoom, Cloudflare, AMEC, Xiaomi, Mobike, Ring, 99, Cruise Automation, Thundersoft and FitBit. Qualcomm Technologies’ industry-leading research and unmatched expertise in mobile technology allows Qualcomm Ventures to serve as an ideal investor in start-ups that leverage 5G’s capabilities and bring forth the next wave of innovation.