Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, has launched a new investment fund aimed at investing in high potential technology start-ups around the globe.
The aim of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund is to invest in strategic technology trends that are transforming the industry, such as artificial intelligence, electrification, autonomous driving and digital mobility services.
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.
Volvo says that companies can 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.
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 centre of gravity for the company’s development of technology and services.
In the fall of 2017 Volvo Cars also acquired the assets and key personnel of Luxe, a U.S. based premium valet and concierge service. The acquisition has enabled a major boost in Volvo Cars’ development of digital services.