Why Cisco, Intel, and Qualcomm are funding IoT startups

Cisco, Intel, and Qualcomm play a significant role in the growth of the Internet of Things startup world.

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Internet of Things startups have had little trouble finding seed money lately, with overall venture capital surpassing the $1 billion mark in 2013 alone, according to CB Insights.

Much of the funding comes from the venture branches of established tech companies, such as Cisco Investments, Qualcomm Ventures, and Intel Capital. These three in particular have contributed a significant amount of funding for IoT startups in the past three years, according to CB Insights. The following graph shows how the reach of these three firms has grown throughout the Internet of Things startup world from December 2010 to May 2014.

Investment in IoT startups has come from companies across the board -- from Cisco to Google to GE - and shows no signs of slowing down. Cisco announced a $150 million fund for IoT startups in late April, part of which will help fund an IoT-specific program in the Alchemist Accelerator, where companies will receive an average of $28,000 in seed funding, Venture Beat reported. That's a small investment for a company like Cisco, but it could provide a healthy return later on if the accelerator helps Cisco identify young talent or cheap acquisition targets.

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