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Hyundai Motor, KDB earmark W74.5b to invest in mobility startups

This rendering, provided by Hyundai Motor, shows the IONIQ 6 sedan, IONIQ 7 SUV and IONIQ 5 CUV (from L) to be launched under its IONIQ EV brand by 2024. (Hyundai Motor Group)
This rendering, provided by Hyundai Motor, shows the IONIQ 6 sedan, IONIQ 7 SUV and IONIQ 5 CUV (from L) to be launched under its IONIQ EV brand by 2024. (Hyundai Motor Group)
Hyundai Motor Group said Monday it has partnered with state-run lender Korea Development Bank to create a fund of 74.5 billion won ($66.6 million) to support open innovation of the South Korean automaker giant and its supply chain.

The fund primarily targets domestic startups dedicated to eco-friendly cars and smart cars, as well as companies with futuristic mobility technologies with regards to urban air mobility and purpose-built vehicles.

Major backers of the fund include Hyundai Motor, Kia and Hyundai Motor Securities, among other group affiliates, as well as KDB and commercial lender Shinhan Bank. Hyundai Motor’s partnering auto part makers including Mando also took part in the funding. This marks the second fund that derives from Hyundai Motor‘s open innovation platform “Zero1ne,” launched in 2018.

Hyundai Motor said the company seeks to integrate innovative mobility technologies of promising startups based on the investment through the fund.

“A carmaking ecosystemwide effort is critical to supporting startups with innovative technologies and creative ideas,” Chi Young-cho, chief innovation officer of Hyundai Motor Group, said in a statement.

KDB said the investment is aimed at attracting major Korean business groups to the startup ecosystem and helping auto part makers navigate out of the traditional car business.

The state lender added that it would cooperate with Hyundai Motor to mutually share knowledge in futuristic mobility trends and venture investment capability for possible co-investments.

By Son Ji-hyoung (consnow@heraldcorp.com)
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