Toyota Motor Changes Name, Expands Venture Fund To Include Climate Change, Energy News, ET EnergyWorld
The Japanese automaker is strengthening its four-year-old investment arm, formerly known as Toyota AI Ventures, with the addition of the $ 150 million Frontier Fund and the $ 150 million Climate Fund, a Toyota announced Thursday, increasing total assets under management to more than $ 500 million.
The Frontier Fund will continue to invest in areas such as artificial intelligence, automated vehicles, cloud computing and robotics, while expanding its scope to include smart cities, digital health, financial technologies, materials and energy, the company said.
The Climate Fund will focus on technologies and companies working to accelerate carbon dioxide reduction.
“We think there’s going to be a huge amount of disruptive innovation in these areas,” particularly in start-ups, said Jim Adler, founding CEO of Toyota Ventures.
“Toyota wants us to look outside, into the startup community where companies are pursuing the same types of goals as Toyota – reducing the carbon footprint and achieving carbon neutrality.”
Toyota’s venture arm, since its creation in 2017, has invested in nearly 40 startups in various sectors, from electric scooters to autonomous shuttles.
The venture capital group has also co-invested in several startups with the venture capital branches of BMW AG, Hyundai Motor Co, Airbus SE and Intel Corp.
Toyota has a second, more recent venture capital arm called Woven Capital, which works with the company’s Woven Planet team on transportation strategy and future investments.
Adler said Toyota Ventures will continue to focus its investments on start-ups, while Woven Capital aims to finance more mature growth-stage companies.