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Watch: MD Varsha Tagare on Qualcomm Ventures’ India bets from dairy to defence

24 Dec, 2020

With a focus on emerging technology companies in India, Qualcomm Ventures has written cheques to startups raising Series A to the companies the size of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) backed digital platform, Jio

The stage-agnostic investor, which represents the strategic interests of chipmaker Qualcomm, has a portfolio of 20 active companies in India with mobility as a common theme. 

The fund, which was an early backer in cloud meeting company Zoom, has a diverse portfolio, with  investments in companies such as dairy tech startup Stellapps, automation platform Zinier,  scooter sharing firm Bounce and B2B logistics company Shadowfax in India.  

In an interview with TechCircle, Varsha Tagare, managing director for India at Qualcomm Ventures said that $150 million India-dedicated fund has bet on startups where the chipmaker can provide solutions. This includes companies from dairy, defence to transport. 

“Apart from Qualcomm Ventures, we also operate the Qualcomm Design in India Challenge (QDIC) for seed stage startups. This year we also piloted a program for women entrepreneurs in technology at the seed stage where 14 entrepreneurs underwent a six-month program,” Tagare said.

The $200 million Qualcomm Ventures 5G Ecosystem Fund focused investment fund has also started deploying capital this year though it is yet to pick a bet on 5G focused startups in India, she added.

With remote work and learning here to stay for some time, Qualcomm Ventures expects to back more companies in the coming year in the space of security and network for remote work, edtech, remote diagnostics and healthcare at home.

Prior to joining Qualcomm Ventures, Tagare was an investment director at Intel Capital, responsible for global equity investments in mobile technology. She has deep engineering and operating experience in chip design on Pentium II, technical marketing and business development groups at Intel. Tagare also holds two US patents in microprocessor design.