Hankook & Co. Ltd., the holding company of Hankook Tire & Technology Ltd., has established a fund with an aim to secure a new growth engine in the future. The first investment destination is Mobiltech, an Artificial Intelligent (AI)-based spatial information and service startup.
Hankook & Co., which launched as an operating holding company in April, announced “S.T.R.E.A.M.” as a new long-term business portfolio in line with the celebration of its 80th anniversary. Each letter from “S.T.R.E.A.M.” delivers the essential directions on where Hankook is headed in terms of future growth strategies. The letter S stands for Smart Energy in the likes of renewable energy and eco-friendly battery; T represents Tire & Core biz. R points to Rising Tech which is to be adapted for business portfolio diversification. Rounding out the acronym; E represents Electrification and A for Automation and efficiency through advanced technology such as robotics, whereas M stands for Mobility as the entire industry.
Ever since, Hankook & Co. has been seeking to increase innovation through fostering startups, venture capital and cooperating with venture capitalists (VC) to discover future growth engine in the S.T.R.E.A.M. segment. As a result, the company set up the “STREAM Fund” with We Ventures, a Korean venture capital fund that achieved rapid growth over the past two years since established.
The established fund aims to preemptively recognize early startups in the S.T.R.E.A.M. fields and aid growth of these companies. Fund of Funds operated by Korea Venture Investment Corp. and many financial institutions also took part. Hankook & Co. also will fulfill its corporate social responsibility by sharing the infrastructure and best practices of its core affiliate, Hankook Tire, to startups.
3-D spatial information service startup Mobiltech was selected as the first investment destination of the fund. Founded in 2017, Mobiltech offers highly accurate -D mapping solutions. It developed 3-D spatial information related hardware and software with its original technology, and provides 3-D precision maps to many customers such as Phantom AI.
Hankook & Co. foresees that the global market for high-precision 3-D data will grow rapidly with the commercialization of autonomous mobility services. Hankook & Co. also took consideration into possible collaboration opportunities between Hankook Tire and Mobiltech leveraging Mobiltech’s vast business domain and business development capabilities. Hankook & Company plans to review investment in several startups to expand capabilities for future growth.