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BlackBerry's Announces IVY Innovation Fund For Smart Vehicle Startup Companies

March 25, 2021 4:38 pm
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BlackBerry's Announces IVY Innovation Fund For Smart Vehicle Startup Companies

On Thursday, BlackBerry Ltd (NYSE:BB) announced the launch of the BlackBerry IVY Innovation Fund to accelerate the development of data-driven automotive ecosystems.

What Happened: BlackBerry’s fund will be made available to startup companies that can utilize BlackBerry IVY’s AI insights and support from BlackBerry and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) cloud service platform Amazon Web Services (AWS). BlackBerry and AWS teamed up in December 2020 and announced a new Intelligent Vehicle Data Platform, which consists of BlackBerry’s IVY technology embedded inside vehicles and is managed and configured through AWS’s cloud services.

How It Works: The fund is available to portfolio companies seeking investment for assistance in developing data-driven vehicle technology. In the first phase of the project, BlackBerry will invest $50 million into the startup and provide its expertise in automotive and cybersecurity domains. The startup can also take advantage of $100,000 in AWS credits through AWS Activate and the use of AWS Console to help build their business.

“The BlackBerry IVY Innovation Fund underscores BlackBerry’s commitment to developing the BlackBerry IVY ecosystem to allow OEMs, smart mobility providers, fleet operators, and developers alike to leverage the rich insights from the next generation of intelligent connected vehicles,” BlackBerry said in the press release.

Why It Matters: BlackBerry has been charging full force ahead into the automotive industry with a number of big partnership deals announced recently. Baidu Inc (NASDAQ:BIDU) and Hyundai Motor Company GDR's (OTC:HYMTF)-backed Motional announced this year they will be using BlackBerry QNX’s capabilities in their smart vehicles.

BlackBerry has also recently been granted a U.S. patent for an autonomous vehicle refueling system.

Through its IVY Innovation Fund, BlackBerry will now be able to cement relationships with a number of startup companies in the development phase of new products and applications for the smart vehicle industry.

“The connected vehicle market is evolving with a tremendous rate of innovation. BlackBerry IVY has the potential to play a pivotal role in enabling a rich ecosystem of solutions that improve and enhance driver and passenger experiences and ultimately revolutionize the way we get from A to B,” said Vito Giallorenzo, BlackBerry's senior vice president of corporate development and strategic partnerships.

(Photo: BlackBerry)

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