Even before the deal to sell its hardware and services division to Microsoft, Nokia was investing in development with technologies in vehicles. Working with multiple car manufacturers, the Finnish company has worked to provide HERE mapping and location services in its Connected Car program. Today, Nokia Growth Partners (NGP) announced a further $100 million to identify in companies with innovations that will be "important for a world of connected and intelligent vehicles".
It's an interesting move by Nokia, further investing in reshaping what's technically possible in a car environment. With location and sensor data becoming more and more accurate, vehicles will have more powerful tools to help drivers integrate more seamlessly with the world around them. All this while keeping said drivers safe and connected. Today's announcement also marks another large step in a direction which Nokia will be taking themselves without its mobile business.
The new fund will extend global activities in the US, India, China and Europe, bringing the total fund managed by NGP to $700 million.
Nokia launches $100 million Connected Car Fund managed by Nokia Growth Partners (NGP)
The fund will invest in promising auto tech and local services companies in collaboration with HERE, a Nokia company, to grow the ecosystem around HERE's mapping and location products and services. Espoo, Finland - Nokia today announced the launch of a USD 100 million Connected Car fund to be managed by Nokia Growth Partners (NGP). The fund will identify and invest in companies whose innovations will be important for a world of connected and intelligent vehicles.
Nokia is already a major player in the automotive industry providing location intelligence for connected vehicles through HERE. The NGP fund, working closely with HERE, will seek to make investments that also support the growth of the ecosystem around HERE's mapping and location products and services.
"NGP has been consistently performing well bringing in both new innovation and financial return to Nokia," said Rajeev Suri, Nokia President and CEO. "Our new USD 100 million venture fund launched today further underlines our belief that the connected car is a significant growth opportunity where NGP is poised to make great investments."
"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. Vehicles are becoming a new platform for technology adoption very similar to phones or tablets," said Paul Asel, Partner at Nokia Growth Partners. "We are excited to deepen our collaboration with HERE through the Connected Car fund to invest in companies that are driving the future of the auto ecosystem, local services and personal mobility."
"NGP's Connected Car fund underscores that connectivity is rapidly reshaping what is possible in the car environment," said Michael Halbherr, CEO of HERE. "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. With more than 25 years of experience in creating automotive grade maps for the automobile industry, we look forward to working with promising companies in NGP's new fund to create a whole new class of services that keep drivers safe and connected." The Connected Car fund extends NGP's global investment activities in the U.S., India, China and Europe where Nokia Growth Partners continue to invest in high potential businesses. The new fund brings Nokia's commitments managed by NGP to USD 700 million. As an independent VC sponsored by Nokia, NGP has a strong track record of investing in technology companies that have made an impact in their respective industries globally, including Rocket Fuel, Heptagon and UCweb.
The Connected Car fund will be the fourth fund that NGP has managed on behalf of Nokia over the past decade.
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