The fund aims at extending the ecosystem around Nokia's digital maps subsidiary Here by investing in promising automotive technology and services companies. According to a Nokia release, it will identify and invest in companies which promise a significant contribution to the world of connected and intelligent vehicles. The fund will be managed by Nokia Growth Partners (NGP), the venture capital arm of the Finland-based telecommunications technology provider.
Here provides a platform for connected driving that is partially based in the cloud. For this very reason, NGP will closely cooperate with Here. The fund "underscores that connectivity is rapidly reshaping what is possible in the car environment", said Here CEO Michel Halbherr. "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".
The Connected Car fund extends NGPs global investment activities in the U.S., India, China and Europe. Including the new fund, NGP holds investments amounting to $700 million in tech companies; examples are software company Rocket Fuel, micro optics technology company Heptagon, and mobile browser vendor UCweb.