Nokia has announced that it has set up a $100 million fund to invest in smart-car technology.
One of the lingering questions from Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Nokia’s mobile phone business is, what next for what’s left of Nokia?
After all, the company is now in the unusual situation of being significantly smaller than it’s been for many years, but with €5 billion of freshly injected cash burning a hole in its pocket.
One of the company's new investments will be in the area of connected cars, for which the company has set aside $100 million. According to Nokia, "The fund will identify and invest in companies whose innovations will be important for a world of connected and intelligent vehicles."
This new area of interest ties in nicely with Nokia’s existing investment in mapping software with HERE maps.
"We are excited to deepen our collaboration with HERE through the Connected Car fund to invest in companies that are driving the future of the auto ecosystem, local services and personal mobility," said Paul Asel of Nokia Growth Partners, which will manage the new fund.
According to HERE CEO Michael Halbherr, "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."
As well as connecting to the internet and GPS satellites, this would suggest a future where cars are aware of and in contact with each other. This could potentially increasing safety and reduce congestion, among other applications.
Meanwhile, Nokia’s newly appointed president and CEO Rajeev Suri reckons that the company's new venture fund "further underlines our belief that the connected car is a significant growth opportunity where NGP is poised to make great investments."