Qualcomm creates fund to push technology

The Associated Press
Wednesday November 15, 2000

SAN DIEGO — Wireless firm Qualcomm Inc. is going on a $500 million shopping spree to acquire stakes in emerging companies that use or promote its patented technology. 

The company has created a new venture capital fund, dubbed Qualcomm Ventures, that will make investments of about $2 million to $10 million in start-ups around the world, said Jeff Jacobs, senior vice president of business development for San Diego-based Qualcomm. 

Qualcomm has invested similar amounts over the last three years in about 15 companies, including three that since have gone public, but the creation of the investment fund formalizes its role as a promoter of wireless technology, Jacobs said Tuesday. 

“We are now going to go out and market our investment capability,” he said. 

Qualcomm has set aside a total of $500 million over four years for the investments. The company will purchase stakes of no more than 20 percent and will take only an advisory role in the operations of the start-ups. 

Investments will target companies that either directly use or promote Code Division Multiple Access, or CDMA, technology in wireless communications and Internet applications, Jacobs said. 

Qualcomm, which had sales of $2.8 billion in fiscal year 2000, generates much of its income from the sales of chips and royalties based on CDMA technology.