MediaTek was founded in 1997 and has grown to become the fourth largest integrated circuit manufacturer in the world, although their early business was designing chipsets for optical drives, DVD players and digital televisions. However, their mobile devices division was launched in 2004. MediaTek are something of an industry enabler because they can provide a reference design for a manufacturer, which allows companies to very quickly and cheaply design a smartphone based around a MediaTek product. This time last year, MediaTek announced a new brand of "Everyday Genius" with a vision to make smartphones more accessible and affordable to the wider market. We've subsequently seen MediaTek powering the Android One smartphones for developing markets.
Along with MediaTek's new product offerings, today they have announced the launch of a new strategic investment arm within the company called MediaTek Ventures. This investment arm will be headquartered in Hsinchu, Taiwan and will be seeded with $300 million to invest in start up businesses in Great China, Europe, Japan and North America. The objective of MediaTek Ventures is to invest into innovative startup businesses in the semiconductor, system, devices, Internet infrastructure and Internet of Things sectors. MediaTek is aiming to create a collaborative ecosystem based around their corporate objectives in the communication, computing, online media and analytics fields: in other words, MediaTek Ventures is designed to fit alongside "Everyday Genius" and making modern technology available for all.
MediaTek's Chief Financial Officer, David Ku, had this to say about MediaTek Ventures: "We will not constrain ourselves to any single region in pursuit of innovation and excellence. Through MediaTek Ventures, a new generation of world-class companies will be empowered. We are excited to enable entrepreneurs and start-ups in achieving their dreams and fostering companies that have the potential to create value to end-users around the world and solve the world's biggest problems." The new investment company will include all states of funding for start up businesses and ultimately will help the wider business maintain its seventeen year track record of bringing innovation to the value end of the market, which follows MediaTek's statement that they have "…an emphasis on enabling technology for the masses and not the chosen…"
At this juncture, comparatively little is known of MediaTek Venture's investment strategy and roadmaps (these will be made available in the second half of the year), but we'll keep you in the loop. Meanwhile, if you have a business that you believe MediaTek Ventures would be interested, you can drop them an email at [email protected] or visit their website here.