One of Nokia’s first acts as a company without its handset business, having sold it to Microsoft last month, is to create a $100 million investment fund. This fund has a specific goal, though: to invest in the connected car.
The fund will be managed by Nokia’s venture capital arm Nokia Growth Partners, but the money will be earmarked specifically for automotive technologies. A quick glance at NGP’s webpage shows that Nokia’s definition of the connected car is pretty broad. It highlights automotive big data, ride sharing, parking locator services and networked transportation infrastructure as possible avenues of investment.
The new investment strategy closely follows Nokia’s own business strategy, especially now that it’s no longer in the business of building handsets. Nokia’s Here division has long been providing the digital maps and underlying navigation features for the auto industry, but it’s lately been branching out into designing its own nav and infotainment systems and developing autonomous driving technologies.