BMW strongly increases venture capital fund volume - Handelsblatt

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - BMW BMWG.DE is increasing the size of its venture capital fund, BMW i Ventures, to 500 million euros (425 million pounds) from 100 million, German business daily Handelsblatt said on Sunday, citing an interview with one of the carmaker's board members.

The fund, founded in 2011, will also move its location to Silicon Valley from New York, the paper said.

“We want to expand our focus and are moving to the Bay Area around San Francisco,” the paper quoted Peter Schwarzenbauer as saying. “Half of all start-ups there are active in the field of mobility,” he added.

So far the fund’s focus has been on themes including electric mobility and mobility services, Schwarzenbauer said, but the focus would be expanded to include autonomous driving, digitalisation, cloud services and artificial intelligence.

That way BMW hopes to be able to react faster to trends in the technology industry, he said.

Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Greg Mahlich