Volvo Announces 'Volvo Cars Tech Fund' to Assist Automotive Technology Start-Ups
【Summary】Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, has launched a new investment fund aimed at investing in high potential technology start-ups in Silicon Valley and around the globe. The aim of the fund is to invest in strategic technology trends that are transforming the automotive industry, including autonomous driving.
Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, has launched a new investment fund aimed at investing in high potential technology start-ups in Silicon Valley and around the globe.
The aim of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund is to invest in strategic technology trends that are transforming the automotive industry. The fund is targeting start-ups working in autonomous driving, vehicle safety and security, networking and connectivity platforms, sensor fusion, artificial intelligence and HD mapping.
The first strategic investment as part of the Tech Fund is a seed round investment into a California-based technology firm developing advanced sensors, underlining Volvo Cars' growing presence in the technology hub of Silicon Valley.
Companies will benefit in a number of ways from participation by the Volvo Cars Tech Fund. Apart from the association with one of the world's leading premium car makers, start-ups may gain the ability to validate their technologies and accelerate the pace of achieving product market fit.
Additionally, start-ups may have the opportunity to benefit from Volvo Cars' unique access to the Chinese car market, its largest, as well as potential access to Volvo Cars' global network of automotive and technology partners.
Zaki Fasihuddin, currently Vice President of Strategic Partnerships in the Volvo Cars Silicon Valley Technology Center, has been appointed CEO of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund.
"We seek to invest in companies that can provide us with strategic access to new technologies, capabilities and talent," said Zaki Fasihuddin. "By supporting promising young firms at the forefront of technological development and providing them with both capital and strategic value, we aim to strengthen our leading role in the industry's technological transformation."
"We work closely with promising technologies and when we see value creation potential for us as a user, we can now also invest to help accelerate the venture," said Mats Moberg, Board Member for the Tech Fund and Vice President within R&D at Volvo Cars.
The launch of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund is part of a continued push for innovation by Volvo Cars and accelerates the company's digital transformation. Last year Volvo Cars established a digital organization in Silicon Valley, providing an additional location for the company's development of automotive technology and related services.
In the fall of 2017, Volvo Cars also acquired the assets and key personnel of Luxe, a US based premium valet and concierge service. This acquisition provided a major boost to Volvo Cars' development of digital services.
With its new fund, Volvo is joining other major automakers, including Toyota, Ford and BMW, that have launching funds to invest in promising companies that are developing technology for autonomous driving, electric cars, mobility services and AI. Last year, Ford Motor Company invested $1 billion in autonomous driving startup Argo AI. Toyota AI Ventures said on Monday it is co-leading an $11.5-million seed investment in May Mobility, a startup that is developing self-driving shuttles for college campuses. BMW i Ventures was also a co-investor.
Volvo is owned by China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., Ltd, which is headquartered in Hangzhou, Zhejiang. Geely recently announced the purchase of a $9 billion stake in German automaker Dailmer.
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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