TechRepublic's Teena Maddox spoke with Brendon Kim, Managing Director and Head of Investments, Samsung NEXT at SXSW about how his division works with tech startups to bring software and services innovations into Samsung.
"Samsung NEXT is basically the software and services innovation arm for Samsung," says Samsung NEXT's Brandon Kim. "We have really good, deep roots in hardware, and we do hardware really well, but we want to try to get better at software and services, and we want a thoughtful integration of the two.
Samsung NEXT is where software and services innovation happens, and it really happens with startups. We're working and helping startups, through which we hope to bring their software and services innovation into Samsung.
We do this in a lot of different ways. If you are just looking to develop a great product, you can come in and develop products with Samsung NEXT; but if you're a early stage company and you want venture capital funding, we have a venture group that provides venture funding. That's the team that I run.
In addition to that, we also have a partnerships team if you want to just simply have a partnership. And then, of course, we have an M&A team. If you want to exit with Samsung and scale globally with Samsung, we can help you to do that, too.
We work with startups, and we help startups, and we engage with startups at all levels of development from early to late."
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Kim discussed LoopPay as an example of this collaboration, "One of the great examples of how we bring all of these groups together to bring success to a startup, as well as to Samsung. is LoopPay, a small Boston-based company with payments innovation.
We invested and through Series A, introduced them to our mobile business units. The mobile business units were very interested in payments through the phone and decided to work very closely with LoopPay, and ultimately wanted to acquire the company. That's when our M&A team stepped in and acquired the company, and now it's the basis for Samsung Pay. That was a great success for us as well as for the startup company that we invested in."
Kim's venture team is thriving, "We focus on early stage companies. We do investments from seed through Series B, investments anywhere from $250,000 all the way up to $3 million at a time. We pride ourselves on post-investment. We work hard to bring collaboration and partnership opportunities to our portfolio companies. There are no guarantees, but we certainly make every effort to put those companies in front of the right people at the right time at Samsung."
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Teena Maddox is a Senior Writer at TechRepublic, covering hardware devices, IoT, smart cities and wearables. She ties together the style and substance of tech. Teena has spent 20-plus years writing business and features for publications including People, W and Women's Wear Daily.