The Nokia-backed VC firm, Nokia Growth Partners (NGP), announced a new $350 million (£247 million) fund focused specifically on the Internet of Things (IoT) at Mobile World Congress on Sunday.
Announcing the news at a press briefing in Barcelona yesterday, Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri 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.”
“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,” he continued.
“For example, we have worked with KT in Korea on the application of real-time 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.”
IoT in healthcare and automotive
NGP added in a statement: “The fund will invest in promising companies primarily around Connected Enterprise, Consumer Solutions, Connected Car and Digital Health, as well as enabling technologies with a focus on capabilities in Big Data and analytics.”
There is no particular regional focus with the funding, although most of the money is expected to be invested in relevant start-ups around the globe.
TechCrunch reports that Suri also talked about 5G being used to accelerate network traffic and Nokia’s network business.
5G “must happen fast because important use cases demand it”, he stressed. He also pointed to a number of examples, saying autonomous driving needs low latency and robustness, with healthcare requiring strong privacy and security.