Nokia created a $100 million fund which it plans to invest in the development of connected car technology.
The fund will invest in “companies whose innovations will be important for a world of connected and intelligent vehicles,” in conjunction with Nokia’s Here navigation division.
Nokia already provides location intelligence for connected vehicles and is looking to use the investment to expand the ecosystem around Here’s mapping and location services.
The company hasn’t had a huge amount of success with its Here navigation unit, although its fortunes appear to be improving: it reported an operating loss of €3 million during the first quarter of 2014, compared with a prior-year loss of €97 million.
Recently-confirmed CEO of Nokia, Rajeev Suri, said the fund “further underlines our belief that the connected car is a significant growth opportunity”.
“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,” added Here CEO Michael Halbherr.
The fund will be managed by Nokia Growth Partners (NGP), which “invests in companies that are changing the face of mobility, communications and the internet”.
Nokia now has $700 million committed with NGP, with the connected car fund the fourth to be managed by the investment arm over the past decade.
Speaking as part of the company’s Q1 results, Nokia chairman Risto Siilasmaa said the company’s vision is to be “a leader in technologies which will be important in a world of billions of intelligent connected devices”.
The Finnish vendor recently completed the sale of the bulk of its Devices & Services business to Microsoft, with the total transaction value “slightly higher” than the previously announced price of €5.44 billion.