Intel Capital finishes layoffs

Intel Capital will be done with its 15% to 20% staff reduction this month and has hired additional staff to pursue new strategic directions, President Arvind Sodhani told PE Week.

The firm’s staff cuts were part of an overall cost-cutting campaign that Intel Corp. CEO Paul Otellini announced in late April as a way to save $1 billion in expenses for the chipmaker. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company has seen its market share reduced by such rivals as Advanced Micro Devices.

Since the cuts were announced nearly six months ago, many wondered how the VC unit would be affected. But Intel Capital’s deal making pace has not slowed during the process. The firm invested $249 million in 86 deals during the first half of the year. It has since announced several large funding deals, including a $600 million investment earlier this month in Clearwire, a Kirkland, Wash.-based WiMax infrastructure provider.

Intel’s strategic investment arm has expanded its investment focus to include what it calls “digital health.” The new initiative covers investments in biotechnology, bioinformatics and nanotech companies, Sodhani says. At the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco last week, Sodhani says that he does not yet have plans to create a specialized fund within Intel Capital focused on health care, but he has hired two investors to flesh out the team.

Last week, Sodhani also announced two new initiatives designed to help its startups. Intel Capital has launched a program for licensing key Intel patents to startups called the “IP Access Program.” It also will offer its startups the chance to meet with big Intel customers such as Comcast and Lenovo during something it calls “Intel Capital Technology Days.” —Alexander Haislip