BMW Bolsters i Ventures Fund, Readies New i3

BMW is dramatically boosting the size of its venture capital fund, a German newspaper reported this week.

According to Handelsblatt, which cites a BMW board member, BMW is increasing the size of i Ventures to 500 million euros, up from 100 million.

In addition, the fund, which was founded in 2011, will move from New York to Silicon Valley.

BMW i Ventures invests in startups working on mobility, autonomous driving, and machine learning.

Meanwhile, another German publication is reporting that the carmaker is readying a next-generation i3 for launch in 2017.

According to Weltt am Sonntag, the new i3 will have a longer range (currently up to 180 miles with its “Range Extender” feature). It’s not nearly as impressive as, say, a Tesla, but it’s also considerably more affordable.