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Hyundai, KDB launch fund to foster mobility startups

Feb 01, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Hyundai and KDB partner to build an open innovation ecosystem. (Hyundai Motor President Chi Young-cho (left) and KDB Vice President Sung Joo-young)
Hyundai and KDB partner to build an open innovation ecosystem. (Hyundai Motor President Chi Young-cho (left) and KDB Vice President Sung Joo-young)

Hyundai Motor Group and Korea Development Bank have decided to create a 74.5 billion won ($67 million) fund to invest in startups that offer future mobility technologies.

On Feb. 1, the South Korean automaker announced the inception of the second ZER01NE fund, set to invest in startups equipped with robust portfolios for next-generation growth businesses, such as future mobility, eco-friendly cars, artificial intelligence and connected cars.

The goal is to foster growth by investing in companies that can contribute to the eco-friendly mobility ecosystem, which Hyundai Motor has identified as its key growth driver and central to its transition from an automaker into a future mobility solutions provider.

Hyundai Motor Co. invested 18 billion won in the fund, while Kia Corp. and Hyundai Motor Securities Co. each invested 12 billion won and 5 billion won, respectively. KDB and Shinhan Bank also committed 20 billion won and 2 billion won, respectively.

Other investors include some Hyundai Motor affiliates and auto industry peers such as Mando Corp., Donghee Co., Global Auto Trading Co., and Korea Fuel Tech Corp.

Companies that participate in the fund will gain access to Hyundai Motor Group’s startup events, including roundtables, demo days and conferences.

Meanwhile, Hyundai Motor Group and KDB also agreed to co-foster a future mobility ecosystem. The two parties will share information and collaborate to generate new businesses and strengthen business competitiveness.

“It's essential to partner with another finished-car maker to foster startups with innovative technologies and creative ideas,” said Chi Young-cho, president of  Hyundai Motor Group.

“We will actively enter partnerships with competitive players to cultivate a top-tier mobility ecosystem,” said Chi.

In 2018, Hyundai Motor Group launched the first ZER01NE fund to invest in innovative startups and to provide project development opportunities.

Write to Il-gue Kim at black0419@hankyung.com

Danbee Lee edited this article.

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