Nokia launches $100M fund to invest in connected car tech

nokia-ngp-here-connected-carNokia announced today the launch of $100 million Connected Car fund to be managed by Nokia Growth Partners (NGP). The company said the funds will be used in investing companies that develop innovative technologies to make vehicles smarter and more connected. The program will be held in collaboration with Nokia-owned HERE maps and location services.

The NGP fund will also seek to invest in the growth of HERE ecosystem, with the eventual aim to exploit the significant growth opportunity in the connected car tech. The new fund increases the total amount of investment money that NGP manages in the U.S., China, Europe and India to over $700 million.

“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 to invest in companies that are driving the future of the auto ecosystem, local services and personal mobility.”

NGP is an independent VC sponsored by Nokia and The Connected Car fund will be the fourth fund that NGP has managed on behalf of the Finnish company over the past decade. Rajeev Suri, Nokia President and CEO said, “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.

This is among the few areas of future development in tech, alongside the internet of things, wearables and robotics. Google who invests a lot in innovative tech, has launched in January 2014 the Open Automative Alliance which brings together automotive and tech giants to bring Android to connected cars produced by Audi, GM, Google, Honda and Hyundai.

Intel, however, was one of the pioneers in this, having launched its Connect Car Tech Fund back in early 2012 run via its investment arm Intel Capital. It has aimed to invest in companies and projects that focus on connection between the vehicle and consumer electronic devices, as well as in-car apps and services that use Intel technologies.

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