Nokia Growth Partners has announced a brand new fund that is aimed specifically at the Internet of Things. And guess what? The fund is sponsored exclusively by Nokia, making it even clearer that the erstwhile cellphone giant is seriously looking to cash in the IoT sector.
Speaking on the topic, Rajeev Suri, CEO, Nokia, said
We are launching a $350 million IoT investment fund through Nokia Growth Partners. Our goal is to help accelerate the broad IoT ecosystem, increase the demand for connectivity and generate returns from investments in compelling opportunities.
Suri then spoke at length about the importance of 5G and why it must happen fast. Drawing the attention of the audience to examples such as autonomous driving, healthcare etc, Suri said that these sectors along with Connected Enterprise, Consumer Solutions and big data and analytics, could really use the extra benefits and would be getting a push by Nokia Growth Partners latest fund.
The Nokia CEO also laid stress upon the fact that his company’s initiatives would serve to help others by bringing an element of connectivity to sectors that can actually use it to great effect.
When it comes to the Internet of Things we have been moving fast testing ideas. New business model. New ways to use connectivity to deliver benefits to people and enterprises of all kinds,
For example we have worked with KT in Korea on the application of realtime analytics and automated action to increase farming productivity. We have conducted a market trial for connected bus terminals in New Zealand.
Trying new business models for smart cities that go beyond advertising and that improve the overall transportation experience. We have worked on providing intelligent transportation on the highways of Germany with real-time hazard warnings and other safety information, enabling vehicle to vehicle and other infrastructure communication.
The fund has been earmarked for early stages startups that have some disruptive technology in their sights, although NGP can be expected to follow up upon its funding, as it sometimes does with its other investments. The VC arm of Nokia expects to make up to 15 investments in the niche, every year.
Well, Nokia seems to have chosen the next place that will attract funds and focus from it. With Microsoft, Amazon and most other tech giants vying to gain a foothold in what is being hailed as the next ‘it’ technology, it’s not much of a surprise. Let’s see how successful the company’s ventures turn out, in its latest roost.