Nokia has made US$100 million available for investing in connected car technologies. The Connected Car Fund will invest in companies that are innovating in connected and intelligent vehicles. The aim is to help grow the ecosystem around Nokia's mapping and location subsidiary, HERE.
According to the company, HERE's reach stretches to four out of five in-car navigation systems in North America and Europe, and its clients include BMW, Garmin, Toyota and Yahoo. In managing this new fund, Nokia Growth Partners (NGP) in collaboration with HERE will seek to make investments that will "support the growth of the ecosystem around HERE's mapping and location products and services."
HERE's connected driving products include "auto-grade" maps, mobile and web-connected navigation and real-time data-driven traffic reporting. The company's CEO, Michael Halbherr, explains that the Connected Car Fund demonstrates a belief that connectivity is redefining what is thought to be possible in the car environment.
"We believe that connected cars equipped with precise location awareness and sensor data can become powerful devices capable of helping drivers make sense of the world around them," he says in a press release.
The sentiment is echoed by Nokia president and CEO Rajeev Suri, who calls the connected car "a significant growth opportunity," and by Paul Asel, one of the partners at NGP. "For the last few years there has been a surge in innovation that has brought technological advances leading to safer, cleaner, increasingly connected, intelligent and more affordable vehicles," says Asel. "Vehicles are becoming a new platform for technology adoption, very similar to phones or tablets."
According to Nokia, the Connected Car Fund will be the fourth fund managed by NGP on its behalf and will take the total funds managed for the company by NGP to $700 million.