Catching-up to Intel and Qualcomm: Understanding the $5 Billion of Venture Capital Investment in Wearable Electronics

May 18, 2016 | State of the Market Report

Between 2006 and 2016 Q1, venture capitalists have invested $5.2 billion in wearable electronics startups. With $1.2 billion already invested in Q1, 2016 is on track to break the previous record of $1.4 billion set in 2014. To understand the trends in wearable electronics venture capital investment, we tracked the investments by application, form factor, year since start-up’s founding, and corporate venture capital (CVC) activity. While consumer health and wellness applications and wristband/armband form factors had received the most funding overall before 2014, attention is shifting to new areas since then – namely consumer communication applications and smart glasses form factors. Intel is the leading wearables CVC, having invested in nine wearables companies, covering a diverse range of six form factors and four different applications.

Coverage Areas

  • Digital Transformation
  • Emerging Ecosystems in Agrifood and Health

Table of Contents

  • Title page
  • Executive Summary
  • Table of Content
  • Landscape
  • Methodology
  • Landscape: VC investment by application
  • Landscape: VC investment by form factor
  • Landscape: Intel, Qualcomm, Google, and Flextronics are the most active CVCs
  • Analysis: Corporate venture capital activities in wearables
  • Takeaways
  • Appendix A: Transactions above $20 million between 2006 and March 2016
  • Appendix B: Wearables companies backed by CVCs

Lead Analyst

Tony Sun


Jonathan Melnick, Ph.D.