The investment emphasises the sports car manufacturer's understanding of the new consumer culture and trends relevant to young Chinese customers. It also underlines Porsche’s strategic objective of continuously investing in new application scenarios for digital content.
Porsche Ventures and iMaker have worked together since 2020. The partners are planning to build a new digital ecosystem that will extend and enhance the customer experience when driving or travelling in a Porsche. New features and technology for in-car applications are being developed with a particular focus on communicating and interacting with younger generations through digital content and virtual influencers.
Virtual influencers are computer-generated characters and avatars designed using innovative animation software. They have realistic facial expressions and body movements, and are very similar to people. In Asia, they are increasingly being used by the music industry, at live events, on social media platforms and in corporate communications.
Jens Puttfarcken, President and CEO of Porsche China, says: "In its role as a traditional sports car manufacturer, Porsche has always been the driving force behind change and innovation. We want to remain at the forefront of the automotive industry as we move into the digital age. This investment by Porsche Ventures is an important step in implementing our digital strategy and the start of an extended partnership with iMaker."
The strategic investment in iMaker is another key step for Porsche to further expand its portfolio of digital products and services, and accelerate its digital transformation. In the future, Porsche will also cooperate with iMaker in the field of digital application scenarios and in-car digital ecosystems, making vehicles an important part of consumers' digital lives and entertainment, as well as creating a convenient, seamless and superior digital journey for customers.
“We hope to provide diverse digital content and technical support for every shining idea, and find the proper solutions to make them come true in the best possible way. iMaker will support Porsche with the implementation and creation of digital content relevant to the automotive industry," says Xia Bing, the founder of iMaker, which was set up in late 2019 and has cumulatively closed four rounds of funding with several investors in the past year.
Porsche Ventures is the venture capital unit of Porsche AG and has offices in Stuttgart, Berlin, Tel Aviv, Palo Alto and Shanghai. It invests in innovative technology and business models around the world. Porsche has been active on the start-up scene since 2016 and has built a diverse start-up ecosystem in order to work with new, innovative companies in various phases of development.
In addition to Porsche Ventures, the Porsche ecosystem includes the technology and digital unit Porsche Digital, the company builder Forward 31 and the early-stage investor APX, a joint venture with Axel Springer SE.