The corporate venture capital team at a Chinese Fortune 500 IT hardware manufacturer saw an opportunity to improve the company’s industrial solutions by making strategic investments in edge computing startups.
The IT hardware manufacturer recognized growing demand for edge computing solutions to support the upgrading of China’s industrial infrastructure. However, their existing product portfolio focused on servers, gateways, and other IT infrastructure. They lacked a competitive portfolio of vertical applications that address the needs of operations teams. They saw an opportunity to grow their portfolio by investing in North American and European edge computing startups and bringing their solutions to China. This would provide competitive differentiation from other infrastructure suppliers and enable them to package their core hardware portfolio with applications delivered by technology startup partners. The approach would rapidly accelerate their time to market and provide more flexibility than internal technology development.