Samsung Targets Health to Education Startups for Devices

Samsung Electronics Co. is looking to acquire companies in communications, health and education to bring unique features to handheld devices, said David Eun, executive vice president.

The world’s biggest smartphone maker is looking at several possible targets, Eun, who leads Samsung’s Open Innovation Center in Palo Alto, California, said at the Bloomberg Next Big Thing Summit.

Samsung is investing in software and content to extend its lead in the $294 billion global smartphone market and compete with Apple Inc. to attract users, who are increasingly turning to mobile devices to communicate and manage information. Eun joined Samsung in 2011, following stints as an executive at Internet companies including AOL Inc. and Google Inc.

“We’re having conversations with more than a handful of companies that either we’ve approached or they’ve approached us,” Eun said at the summit in Half Moon Bay, California. “We have an early investment group that invests in early stage companies and we are doing acquisitions as well. In addition, we’re setting up incubators in Silicon Valley and New York to incubate our own startups.”

By investing in emerging technologies, Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung is seeking to offer more customized experiences for users, Eun said.

“The idea here is, along with the S4 and all of our devices, including our connected TVs, to connect these devices in some way in the near future,” he said. “We think if we do that we will have one of the world’s largest platforms for distributing content and apps.”

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.