Tencent, the Chinese internet investment company, NavInfo, the Chinese digital mapping company and GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, have bought 10% of HERE, the digital mapping company which Nokia sold to Audi, BMW and Daimler-Benz for $3 billion last year.
The price is not disclosed. The three German car makers will reduce their stakes equally to deliver the 10% stake.
HERE makes 3D digital road maps to centimetre-scale precision which many technologists say is necessary to realise driverless cars.
HERE and NavInfo are to form a 50/50 joint venture for “the creation and provisioning of high definition mapping and location services for autonomous cars to ensure a consistent, industry-leading, global solution for a joint customer base”.
The motivation for the deal in HERE’s case was the need to raise capital to keep on doing its high-precision mapping.
It also talked to Google, Microsoft and Bosch about selling a stake to raise cash.