Trade Resources Company News BMW Plans to Spend up to EUR500m on New Car Technologies

BMW Plans to Spend up to EUR500m on New Car Technologies

BMW is planning to invest up to €500m on new car technologies over the next 10 years via its i Ventures division.

The automaker will use the money to back startups working on areas including autonomous driving and digitalisation, and to secure continued access to the technologies of the future.

BMW i Ventures was established in New York in 2011 with an initial venture capital of $100m. It headquarters is now being reloacted to Silicon Valley.

Going forward, the division will operate globally and independently. It will have two managing partners – Ulrich Quay and Uwe Higgen, who will report to BMW Group Steering Board.

The board will include three from BMW AG Board of Management and the head of Corporate Planning and the Product Strategy.

BMW i Ventures offers financial support for start-ups and contributes internal non-monetary resources or smart capital, like technical expertise and access to the network of a global firm.

The division has held a minority stake in San Francisco-based technology start-up RideCell since 2014,.

Since April of this year, RideCell served as the systems partner of ReachNow, the BMW Group’s premium car-sharing service in the US. It provided IT platform and all customer interfaces used for reservations and billing.

BMW AG member of the Board of Management and member responsible for MINI, BMW Motorrad, Rolls-Royce and Aftersales Peter Schwarzenbauer said: “These days, more and more innovations come from the start-up scene. Venturing allows us to tap into this potential at an early stage.

“To achieve this, we are now giving BMW i Ventures a much broader footing and will expand our involvement in Europe and Asia, as well as at our new location in Silicon Valley.

“The atmosphere of radical openness and idea-driven exchange that characterises the start-up scene is particularly fruitful for an innovation leader like BMW.”

BMW board of management member and member responsible for development Klaus Fröhlich said: “The mobility of the future and our industry is being defined by the increasingly rapid pace of technological change. Anyone who wants to succeed must shape this change and have access to the best ideas.

“BMW i Ventures keeps us close to trendsetters from all different fields and their innovations. The benefit for our partners is in access to the experience that comes from 100 years of car-building and managing complex topics and processes. Together, we can speed up the pace of change and development.”

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Topics: Auto Parts