Nokia is literally taking to the streets in search of the next big thing. First, Nokia sells its phone division to Microsoft, and now it’s dipping its toes into the automotive space in a move similar to what Microsoft has recently made – connecting tech in cars.
The Finnish ICT vendor has announced plans to delve into the in-car technology space with the launch of a US$100 million (S$125 million) Connected Car fund, which will be managed by its venture capital arm, Nokia Growth Partners (NGP).
NGP will apparently be using the fund to augment developer activity around its in-car system HERE (formerly known as Nokia Maps), in addition to investing in automotive tech and location products and services.
Just like you, we’re wondering if the arrangement will either complement or compete with Microsoft.
Pimp my ride
NGP managing partner Paul Asel, said in a statement that vehicles are becoming a new platform for mobile technology adoption. Clearly, going forward, cars are the new people for this business.
“The car is really becoming a platform, like when the mobile handset became a smartphone and all the apps and services developed around that,” he said.
We think the move of focusing its labour on expanding its mapping and location software platform may be Nokia’s best chance at reinventing itself, as the fund aims to increase the company's connected car investments in the United States, Europe, India, and China.
But one thing’s for sure. Nokia can't run away from its smartphone rivals even in the automotive playing field. Along with Microsoft, Google and Apple have also taken steps toward smartening up your wheels.
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