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Mitsubishi and NTT take 30% joint ownership stake in HERE Technologies

Japanese duo Mitsubishi Corporation and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) Corporation have jointly acquired a 30 percent ownership stake Netherlands-based mapping company HERE Technologies.

The two companies have co-invested in HERE via holding company COCO Tech Holding in the Netherlands, which the pair established together for the purpose. HERE now has nine direct and indirect shareholders: Audi, Bosch, BMW Group, Continental, Intel Capital, Mitsubishi, Mercedes-Benz, NTT, and Pioneer.

HERE has added senior executives from the two companies to its supervisory board:. These are Yutaka Kyoya, executive vice president and group chief executive of Mitsubishi’s consumer industry group, and Hiroki Kuriyama, executive vice president and head of strategic business development at NTT.

The Netherlands-based firm’s broadened shareholder structure supports its ambitions to accelerate growth in new industries and markets. “In particular, with new Japanese investors, HERE will have a springboard to further accelerate growth in the Asia Pacific region,” it said.

HERE and Mitsubishi already work as partners in several areas, including middle and last-mile logistics, tackling urban traffic congestion, and location-based advertising. HERE features commonly in mapping-based solutions in the IoT space, notably for vehicle technolohies and asset tracking.

Edzard Overbeek, chief executive at HERE, said: “We welcome Mitsubishi and NTT as new strategic investors, supporting our long-term growth ambitions and boosting our enterprise value significantly. Both companies recognize the enormous potential for location data and technology to fuel innovation, boost efficiency and sustainability, and ultimately make the world a better place.”

Among other initiatives, it is working with US carrier Verizon to pair 5G connectivity and multi-access edge computing (MEC) with location data and autonomous vehicle know-how as part of a co-innovation exercise to hone various consumer and industrial IoT use cases.

It is also working with both the Sigfox and LoRaWAN technologies, variously, in the low-power wide-area (LPWA) IoT space. The arrangement with Sigfox sees the France-based firm’s networking and geolocation engine supplemented with Wi-Fi hotspot coverage from HERE, to create a global IoT location service for the supply chain and logistics industry.

Meanwhile, Actility, one of the leading proponents of LoRaWAN based networking, has a similar deal to integrate HERE’s positioning capabilities into its own LoRaWAN management platform. It means internet-of-things (IoT) users can “pinpoint” their assets accurately and continuously in both indoor and outdoor environments.

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