Nokia is planning to invest US$100 million in companies that develop intelligent-car technologies, joining the likes of Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk and Google in betting on smarter vehicles for the future, according to a Bloomberg report.
The investments, to be made by a new Nokia fund, are meant to support the company’s digital-map business, Nokia told Bloomberg. It’ll be run by Nokia Growth Partners, the venture-capital arm that manages about US$700 million.
Nokia sold its mobile-phone unit to Microsoft Corporation for about US$7.5 billion last month. While most of the Finnish company’s revenue now comes from wireless-network equipment, it also seeks to make its maps business more competitive against rivals like Google, the report says.
“We’re seeing innovation that’s happening across the auto ecosystem through the combination of mobility and the Internet,” Nokia venture-capital arm partner Paul Asel said in an interview.
“The car is really becoming a platform like when the mobile handset became a smartphone and all the apps and services developed around that.” Nokia is discussing the new fund today at the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing.