Automaker BMW Increases the Size of its Venture Fund to $530M

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The famous BMW auto manufacturer is on the move and looking for more ways to use innovation and creativity through the funding of startups. They recently increased the size of their venture capital fund for this purpose. BMW iVentures is the name of the fund and they are looking for ways to further expand their already impressive portfolio. They’re forward looking and moving ahead with a strong head of steam. Keeping up with new technology shouldn’t be an issue for the BMW corporation.

iVentures has just been increased to a whopping five hundred and thirty million dollars in USD (500 million in Euros), according to recent press releases. Their plans also include moving the fund, which has been in existence for five years, main headquarters from the city of New York to the Silicon Valley

Rationale for the move

The Silicon Valley is the place where we are seeing the most activity with regard to new startups who are successfully tackling technological development and innovations. It is a hub of activity and is home to many inventors who have brilliant ideas based on automotive and communications based technologies. The new businesses range from on board navigation to smart devices that are revolutionizing the automotive industry with new gadgets and more bells and whistles which can easily be incorporated into the newer vehicles which are being produced.

It just makes sense to relocate to an area in close proximity of the upstarts that are largely responsible for many of the cool new technologies which seem to morph into projects geared towards satisfying increasing customer demands for convenience, novelty and entertainment. The goal of BMW execs is to tap into the pipeline of new inventions and technologies while they are still in their infancy. There is a tremendous potential for growth on the part of the startups and for the BMW corporation in a win win situation for both.

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BMW goals

The predominant interests for BMW are in the areas of autonomous driving, artificial intelligence, mobile software and of course the latest in automotive technologies. These are fields which are currently exploding with new innovations and ideas which are still in the developmental stages with many of the new startups who have good ideas and strong teams of experts on board, but are still in the fundraising stages prior to testing and manufacture of their prototypes.

It is an exciting proposition for everyone involved and the move by BMW gives hopefuls in the startup arena the chance for funding that could propel them into a new realm for development and delivery of new technologies. This is the shot in the arm that many of them have needed to bring their ideas and dreams to fruition. For BMW, it is pretty much business as usual with forward looking execs who have not wavered in their forward march towards excellence. It is what consumers have come to expect and they have not let them down in the delivery.

Examples of the benefits

BMW has used their iVenture fund to invest in companies like Nauto, based out of Palo Alto, for further development of products like the cloud connected dashcam. This is just one of more than a dozen new startups that they’ve directed funding towards. We’re expecting to see this take off exponentially with the relocation. Partnering with companies who are producing technologies that will benefit the BMW company and keep them ahead with regards to technological advances is the name of the game and the main reason behind the boost in venture capital funding and the move to this highly advantageous location. It puts the iVenture funding headquarters in the heart of the region where new startups are popping up left and right.

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The lay of the land

More than half of the new startups are working on new innovations in the mobility arena. This is gravy for the expansion of BMW iVenture into the Bay area. They’re looking for businesses with a focus on electric mobility as well as digitalization and cloud services among others. This will give BMW a leg up on the competition when it comes to integration of the latest in technology into their already prestigious vehicles. You have to figure that a quintuple increase in venture funding means that there are some pretty big plans being carried out by the corporation. BMW is taking their vision for the future into new realms with this shifting of funding and physical move.

Outlook for the future

What can we say, we’re talking about BMW and when in recent history have they failed to produce anything short of magnificent results? They’re tapping into the hottest industries on the face of the earth and they couldn’t have chosen a better location. We’re expecting to see an infusion of funding that will not only benefit the auto manufacturer but will also boost the local economy in the Bay area. Watch for the funding to have a trickle down effect of creating more jobs, higher earnings for locals and in addition, the production of new products and services that will not only serve the BMW corporation, but also the world at large.

Final thoughts

There are multiple benefits coming for the Silicon Valley and surrounding areas with the move being made by BMW’s iVenture capital fund. They will be welcome additions to the area and with news of their impending move, quite a few startups are tightening their pitches and preparing for application for the vast resources that the corporation has to offer. We expect to see the artificial intelligence and autonomous auto sector start producing some truly magnificent services that will not be exclusive to BMW per se.

It is an exciting thought and we’re looking forward to hearing more as the company settles and begins forging new partnerships with some of the more impressive startups. BMWs realization that technology startup companies are at the heart of innovation and advancement is just the starting point. The new kids are coming to town and it seems that they have a lot to contribute to the betterment of the local community. The potential for an explosion in new developments is mind blowing and we’re standing by with great expectations.

 


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