Samsung’s vision of enriching people’s lives and contributing to social prosperity by creating a new future has guided the company’s direction for over 80 years. In line with this idea, the conglomerate has announced its funding of four tech-oriented businesses three and a half time zones away in India.
Through Samsung’s investment arm, Samsung Venture Investment Corporation (SVIC), the company invested $8.5 million in four startups. These companies include Gnani.ai, a speech technology company, OSLabs Technology, the developer of the world’s first regional OS for smartphones (Indus OS), Silvan Innovation Labs, an IoT solutions provider, and lastly, a fourth companyin computer vision technology.
“This [investment] will be a win-win for both as it will help startups scale their solutions through this deep engagement while we get an opportunity to enrich our offerings to our consumers,” said Dr. Aloknath De, Corporate Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Samsung R&D Institute Bengaluru on the investment move.
Who Are These Companies?
Gnani.ai is a speech technology company providing solutions focused on India’s diverse native languages such as Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Gujarati. They service a wide variety of industries such as Telecom, Insurance, Banking, Travel, Media OTT and E-Commerce. Some of their products include speech-to-text apis, text-to-speech apis, advanced speech analysis, omnichannel feedback analysis and an ai-backed predictive model.
“We would like to thank Samsung Ventures for reposing confidence in our capabilities. This investment is a reaffirmation of our expertise in speech recognition technologies. We stay committed to our goal to continue being the leading speech recognition engine in Indic languages for voice assistant, call automation, and speech analytics applications for multiple customers,” said Ganesh Gopalan, Founder and CEO of Gnani.ai in appreciation of Samsung’s investment.
OS Labs Technology
Indus OS is the first Indian operating system for mobile devices. It is primarily based on the design of the open-source Android OS. It supports more than 20 Indian regional languages, making it understandable for over 95% of the country’s population. Its application marketplace boasts over 10 million users across the globe, making it the the second largest OS in India.
“It is a moment of great pride for us to have Samsung Venture, the VC arm of the biggest smartphone brand in the world, show faithand invest in our company. As we look to offer the Indus experience to wider audiences, these funds will help us reach our goal of empowering 100 million Indian users with a content and commerce platform in the language of their choice, thus ensuring a truly inclusive digital growth and an enriched user experience for everyone,” said Rakesh Deshmukh, Co-founder and CEO of OSLabs during a ceremony for the investment.
Silvan Innovations Lab
Serving automation solutions to its customers, Silvan Innovations Lab leverages on IoT (Internet of Things) technologies to innovate their products. Their line includes integrated property system managers, wi-fi-based solutions, and control and interface modules for both home and industrial customers.
“IoT is a big and complex market, and strategic partnerships are needed for companies to leverage each other’s strengths to address market needs. Towards that, we are extremely pleased to partner with Samsung Venture, given their deep understanding and reach of various markets,” said CEO of Silvan Innovation Labs, Avinash K Gautam.
Fortune 500 Samsung has invested more than $15 billion to dozens of startups globally in 2018 alone. The company plans to invest $22 billion from 2019 to 2021 in other ventures in an array of industries. These industries include 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), biopharmaceuticals, and automotive electronics components.