AKRON — Goodyear has taken an undisclosed position in Nova Labs, a company involved in decentralized wireless communications that could play a role in the development of autonomous vehicles.
Goodyear made an unspecified investment this week in the company, formerly known as Helium Inc., through its $100 million venture capital arm, Goodyear Ventures, which reportedly was one of 10 participants in a $200 million round of Series D funding.
Goodyear said connected mobility will play a key role in future transportation and that the "investment allows Goodyear to collaborate on efficient and accessible connectivity solutions."
San Francisco-based Nova Labs describes itself as a long-range wireless communications network that gathers data from the Internet of Things.
The investment makes Nova Labs the 11th company in Goodyear Ventures' portfolio, according to the fund's web page.
"Nova Labs is revolutionizing the way enterprises connect to the internet, unlocking new levels of efficiency through ubiquitous coverage provided by the Helium Network," Abhijit Ganguly, Goodyear Ventures' managing director, said.
"At Goodyear we are committed to enabling mobility, and we can't wait to see what we can accomplish with Nova Labs and the Helium Network."
Details of the investment were not disclosed, but Nova Labs COO Frank Mong confirmed Goodyear's participation in the transaction via Goodyear's announcement.
"We are grateful to companies like Goodyear who recognize the power of a global decentralized wireless network in boosting efficiency and driving innovation," Mong said.
"We are proud to have the support of Goodyear Ventures as we continue to pioneer decentralization across wireless protocols and are excited to explore ways to welcome them to the Helium ecosystem as an enterprise customer."
In recent years, Goodyear has invested millions in research and development for smart tires with sensors and communications technology and said it intends to be a major player in what it sees as an important future market for autonomous vehicles.
The company has said it expects to focus its technical development efforts exclusively on technology to be used in tires for electric and autonomous vehicles by 2040.
Goodyear formed Goodyear Ventures in early 2020, seeding it with $100 million and charging it with making investments in emerging technologies aimed at the transportation and mobility sectors.