In August this year, the CEO of HERE hinted that investors from across the globe are in talks to acquire a stake in the company. Rumours were rife that Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft were all interested in acquiring a stake in the mapping company (Related: HERE is close to signing more investors!). However, in a strategic move, Chinese mapping company NavInfo, internet services giant Tencent and Singapore-based investment firm GIC have decided to jointly acquire a 10% stake in the company.
“Our intention has been to broaden our shareholder base to reflect how location intelligence will fuel invention and expansion across different industries in all parts of the world,” – Edzard Overbeek, CEO @ HERE
HERE plans expansion into China
NavInfo and Tencent are strategic investors in HERE, with each company eying collaborations with HERE to expand their services in China. GIC, on the other hand is investing in HERE as a financial investor.
Navigation with NavInfo
HERE is planning to form a joint venture with NavInfo to enable location services for Chinese customers across a range of industries. The main focus of the JV would be to add the China market to HERE Auto SDK and collaborate on the creation of HD Maps for autonomous cars in China.
“NavInfo and HERE have a more than ten-year cooperation history, and are now both in transformation phase to extend our heritage in traditional navigation to intelligent location services and autonomous driving solutions for a global customer base” Patrick Cheng, CEO @ NavInfo
Location data analysis with Tencent
Tencent is the company behind the popular services QQ and WeChat. HERE’s partnership with Tencent could be the start of a very interesting chapter for the Berlin-based mapping company with the Tencent hinting on using HERE data and services for ‘FourSquare-like’ location intelligence services.
“The strategic partnership with HERE demonstrates our commitment to connect our users with best-in-class services. Combining HERE’s world-leading location intelligence technologies with Tencent’s social strength, unique understanding of user behavior and broad location data ecosystem, this collaboration further enhances Tencent’s location services. It also facilitates Tencent’s exploration of future technologies including autonomous driving and artificial intelligence.” – Julian Ma, Vice President of Mobile Internet Group @ Tencent
The investment by the three companies in HERE is pending regulatory approval.