LG Group has reportedly set up a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley in a move to find emerging startups that focus on robotics, artificial intelligence and auto parts.
On Monday, the holding company of the conglomerate, LG Corp., announced that the VC firm, named LG Technology Ventures, will manage a $400 million fund. The funding for the new firm is said to have come from four affiliates, namely: LG Electronics, LG Display, LG Chem and South Korea-based cellular carrier LG Uplus, The Investor first reported.
“The newly established unit is aimed at finding new business opportunities, and startups to acquire,” an LG official, who refused to be named, said of the company’s latest venture. It was revealed that the VC firm is eager to invest in technology areas that are expected to flourish in the coming years. Hence, it is said to be focused on finding startups that specialize in robotics, artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles.
By setting up the firm in Silicon Valley, the conglomerate appears to be very serious in looking for new driving forces for growth amid strong competition from its rivals in its existing businesses. The move is also seen as LG’s way of ensuring its financials because its smartphone business has been losing money for several quarters now.
Early last month, IBTimes reported that LG was hoping its new G7 ThinQ flagship could turn its struggling smartphone business around. LG’s phone-making unit has apparently only seen minimum improvement during the quarter when it launched last year’s G6 flagship. The last time that it had a positive quarter was all the way back in the first quarter of 2015. Therefore, it’s not surprising why LG is now looking to branch out and establish itself in other sectors.
In the recent months, LG has been investing in technology companies left and right. It bought stakes in robot maker Robostar; Acryl, which specializes in AI solutions that can read human emotions; and SG Robotics, which develops wearable robots. In April, the G7 ThinQ maker announced that it is buying leading automotive lighting and headlight systems provider ZKW Group for €1.1 billion.