Coming off an infusion of cash from Microsoft, Nokia left the handset business and is taking aim at the connected car. Nokia announced today, via its investment arm Nokia Growth Partners (NGP), a $100 million USD “Connected Car” fund that will invest in companies that “support the growth of the ecosystem around HERE’s mapping and location products and services.”
Nokia has been big in the connected auto industry for years in mapping and navigation through its Navteq division. Michael Halbherr, CEO of HERE, said, “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. With more than 25 years of experience in creating automotive grade maps for the automobile industry, we look forward to working with promising companies in NGP’s new fund to create a whole new class of services that keep drivers safe and connected.”
Other players in the connected car space include BlackBerry QNX, Microsoft (mostly in Ford vehicles as Sync), Google’s Android-based Open Automotive Alliance, and more recently Apple’s CarPlay initiative.