Samsung Strategically Invests in Cloud Services as Mobile Wars Heat Up

Cloudant announced that it has received a strategic investment from Samsung Venture Investment Corporation, the VC arm of the Korean handset manufacturer. The Massachusetts-based firm said it will spend the money on research and development, but did not disclose the size of the contribution.

Cloudant, the brainchild of MIT particle physicists, provides a globally distributed Database-as-a-Service solution for web and mobile applications that tap into user information. The platform automates administration and scaling so that developers can focus on creating features, rather than spending so much time working on the plumbing.

“Samsung Ventures believes a globally distributed data layer and management of that data is especially critical for large enterprise businesses,” said Hyuk-Jeen Suh, Senior Investment Manager with Samsung Ventures America. “We felt that this is the right time to strategically invest in Cloudant to support the company’s vision to manage the proliferation of data to be created by, for example, mobile devices, machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies, and the ‘Internet of things’ in the future.”

Samsung is very willing to invest in anything that may help it gain an advantage over Apple and competing Android OEMs:  just two days ago the firm announced a $100 million investment fund that will focus on financing early stage startups in the U.S.

The Samsung Catalyst Fund supplements the company’s existing American Ventures America Fund, which is valued at about one billion dollars.  Entrepreneurs will receive their first opportunity get the vendor’s attention and compete for $10 million in seed funding later this year when the SamsungCreate Challenge kicks off.

Samsung is not the only whale that is turning its attention to the smaller players in the cloud services market. Cisco recently announced that it has acquired a one percent stake in Parallels, a leading desktop virtualization vendor based in Russia.