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NGK SPARK PLUG establishes $100 million corporate venture capital fund

NGK SPARK PLUG, the world’s leading ignition and sensor specialist has launched a corporate venture capital fund, which will invest $100 million in venture companies around the world. The fund is an early step in the company’s 2030 Long-Term Management Plan ‘NITTOKU BX’ which began in April 2020 and involves transforming its business by increasing its activities in sustainable, non-internal combustion sectors.

The fund was created in collaboration with Pegasus Tech Ventures, a global venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley. Pegasus Tech Ventures specialises in accelerating the success of its portfolio companies by connecting them to its network of multinational corporate partners and cutting-edge technology start-ups to create opportunities for business development, distribution, manufacturing and global expansion.

Renowned for its success in the automotive sector, NGK SPARK PLUG is also active in many other fields. These include cutting tools, medical equipment, industrial ceramics and production equipment, with the company recently shifting its attention towards the development of new technologies.

“The launch of this $100 million corporate venture capital fund will allow us to explore and grow in new markets where we can make a valuable contribution to creating a better world,” says Damien Germès, President & CEO of NGK SPARK PLUG EUROPE GmbH, Regional President EMEA and Corporate Officer of the Global Headquarters in Japan. “With the automotive industry undergoing unprecedented change, our 2030 Long-Term Management Plan ‘NITTOKU BX’ will transform our company so that it can contribute to a sustainable society by creating new businesses in sectors with the potential for future growth, such as environmental energy, medical care and next-generation vehicles.”

With this new venture capital fund, the company is pursuing new businesses, technologies and ideas in the United States, Europe, Israel and Asia, which are centred around the fields of ‘Smart Health’, ‘Decentralised Utility’ and ‘Smart Mobility’. The selection of these areas is based on global trends and data which point towards an increasing demand for healthy food, mobility, easy access to healthcare, clean water and access to energy. NGK SPARK PLUG is using its know-how and experience in its current areas of expertise as well as its automotive sales channels as a platform to successfully enter these new markets.

New technologies such as power inverters, service platforms, ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) systems and charging solutions will be developed in the company’s ‘Smart Mobility’ business. In its ‘Decentralised Utility’ business, moreover, air purification technology, food tech and agriculture start-ups will be examined, with the aim of developing safer and more sustainable food supplies and reducing pollution.

Through this fund, NGK SPARK PLUG will be able to accelerate the creation of new businesses by investing in early to late-stage start-ups, with capital ranging from a few hundred thousand dollars to a few million dollars. The company will also collaborate and invest in portfolio companies, assisting them in bringing their technology to maturation, while remaining open to future potential mergers and acquisitions.