Nokia Announces $100 Mn Connected Car Fund

Nokia-logo-psd43421On Monday, mobile manufacturer Nokia announced that it will be investing $100 million on companies working on connected cars and local services. The funding will be provided by Nokia Growth Partners – the company’s capital arm along with Nokia’s mapping service, Here.

Nokia stated in a press statement that it will be funding companies whose innovations are important to the world of connected and intelligent vehicles. The targeted companies will work on auto ecosystem, local services and personal mobility.

“Our new $100 million venture fund launched today further underlines our belief that the connected car is a significant growth opportunity,” Nokia Chief Executive Rajeev Suri said in a statement.

The Finnish giant is already a major player in car technology. Over the last few years, it has also tied up with many car manufacturers to provide HERE maps and location services.

This new investment hints that Nokia, which is known as a leading mobile manufacturer is now looking into other technologies as well. In the past few months, there have been a couple of areas it has worked on. Recently, it was found to be working on smart glasses as well.

However, Nokia isn’t the only company which is looking into auto car technology. Last year automobile manufacturer Ford launched AppLink, a service which brings in-car voice enabled functionality that lets users control their smartphones using voice commands inside the car. Intel had similar projects in mind too.

Nokia completed its 5.44 billion euro acquisition deal with Microsoft last month, and is expected to venture into other projects and strengthen its existing technologies too. The acquisition left Nokia with three activities – its network equipment business, patent portfolio and mapping and location service business, HERE.

“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.