Dubai: Intel Capital, the investment arm of Intel, the world's largest maker of computer chips, on Wednesday announced it has made investments in three UAE-based technology companies.
The companies include Conservus International, which makes mobile internet devices that provide hotel guests with concierge services, Pulse Technologies, which provides building automation services to hotels and property developers, and Vertex Animation Studio, which is currently developing video games, animation services, and virtual reality applications.
Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital and executive vice-president of Intel, told Gulf News that the current credit crisis had not changed the company's investments strategies.
"We have not backed off from investing in technology," he said. "We firmly believe that technology innovation does not stop because of the environment. If anything the innovation in technology is what drives a lot of growth in the future."
Terms of the deals were not disclosed, but Sodhani said that in 2008 Intel invested $1.59 billion (Dh5.8 trillion) in 62 new companies around the world, although $1 billion of that involved a single investment into Clearwire, an American-based company that is developing wireless broadband services.
Intel Capital also invested in Sphere Technology, another UAE-based company that offers enterprise networking applications in November of last year. Feroz Sanaulla, Intel Capital's regional director, said he expects more deals to be announced in the upcoming months. Sodhani said Intel is taking its time to evaluate companies as they find them.
"We work very diligently, very carefully. We evaluate our companies," he said. "We take our time. This is the culmination of the kind of effort we have been putting in here, and you are now going to see the outcome of our efforts in a number of investments."
Sodhani said he expects fewer companies will seek financing in 2009 simply because company valuations have gone down "very dramatically" and many companies will not look for capital if they can avoid it. However, he said the number of companies approaching Intel for capitalisation has increased recently.
Kamal Nasser, the chairman of Conservus, who has worked with Intel before, said the chip maker is offering a much needed inflow of capital into a region that lacks a well developed venture capital market. He said he didn't even look for other investments.