Is Samsung NEXT the Drake of VC?

Samsung is putting its mouth where its money is, revealing some of the key investments made through its Samsung NEXT innovation arm. Is Samsung NEXT the Drake of VC?The investments suggest that the company is banking on AI, VR, blockchain, and the Internet of Things to drive tech forward over the coming years.

On the AI front, Samsung NEXT is backing Vicarious, a company developing AI systems for robots; Bonsai, developer of an enterprise-focused AI development platform; and FloydHub, the provider of a machine learning cloud service.

In the world of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, Samsung NEXT has invested in 8i, whose platform is designed to capture full bodies in video for implementation in virtual environments. And in blockchain, Samsung NEXT is linking up with data decentralization specialist HYPR and blockchain protocol provider Filament.

As for the nebulous IoT, Samsung NEXT is focusing on two key areas: Healthcare, and smart cities. With respect to the former, Samsung NEXT is backing Glooko, which provides a cloud analytics platform for diabetics’ glucose data, and HealthifyMe, whose mobile app connects users with health coaches. In the realm of smart cities, Samsung NEXT has a stake in data-driven urban planning specialist Stae and urban mobility software provider Swiftly.

With such a vast array of investments, Samsung NEXT may look like the Drake of venture capital, generously throwing bills wherever it goes; but these investments speak to the vast potential of the key tech areas concerned, and Samsung isn’t the only company that sees it. The company is looking to get a solid footing ahead of the game with a range of strategic bets, many of which could pay off down the line.