[THE INVESTOR] LG Group has recently set up a venture capital firm, named LG Technology Ventures, in Silicon Valley in a bid to find emerging startups in the robot, artificial intelligence and auto part sectors, according to LG Corp., the holding company of the conglomerate, on June 4.
The venture investment arm of the Korean tech giant will manage a US$400 million fund, contributed jointly by four affiliates -- LG Electronics, LG Chem, LG Display and LG Uplus.
The latest move is part of the conglomerate’s efforts to find new driving forces for growth in the face of fierce competition in the existing business segments.
LG Electronics, in particular, is in a great need to find breakthroughs after having lost money in the saturated smartphone market for years.
“The newly established unit is aimed at finding new business opportunities, and startups to acquire,” said an LG official, refusing to talk about the details of the Silicon Valley fund.
The VC is expected to invest in emerging technology areas, such as artificial intelligence, robot, and autonomous vehicle.
The electronics firm has recently bought stakes in industrial robot maker Robostar, Acryl, which develops AI solutions that understand emotions of human users, and SG Robotics, a wearable robot developer. It also announced in April it would purchase Austrian headlight maker ZWK for US$1.3 billion in the hopes of cultivating new revenue.
In addition it has reportedly decided to set up an AI center in Toronto, and is currently seeking to hire talent there.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)