Nokia announces $100 million fund for connected cars
Nokia has announced that it is launching a fund that will invest $100 million in connected car startups. The “Connected Car Fund” will be managed by Nokia Growth Partners (NGP). It “will identify and invest in companies whose innovations will be important for a world of connected and intelligent vehicles.” This fund will be closely aligned with Nokia’s HERE mapping division, which was not sold to Microsoft as part of the $7.2 billion acquisition. Microsoft acquired Nokia’s hardware and mobile division.
“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,” stated Paul Asel, partner at Nokia Growth Partners.
Nokia is licensing the HERE parents for Windows Phone devices and feature phones for the next 4 years. The HERE group employs around 6,000 people.
Other tech companies that are highly involved in the connected car space include Apple and Google. Apple launched a solution called “CarPlay,” which is bringing iOS into infotainment systems. Google launched the Open Automotive Alliance in January.