Toyota AI Ventures (TAIV) has announced a new $100 million fund to be channelised for developing disruptive technologies and business models in the autonomous mobility and robotics markets in early-stage start-ups. A subsidiary of Toyota Research Institute, TAIV was founded in July 2017 and has invested in a diverse portfolio of 19 start-ups till date. Named the Fund II, the investment brings the firm’s total assets under management to more than $200M to invest in and support promising start-ups around the world, stated the company.
With Fund II, Toyota AI Ventures will expand its search for talented entrepreneurs to help discover what’s next for Toyota. Toyota AI Ventures will also use Fund II to continue to strengthen its portfolio services across artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicle simulation, smart & connected vehicles. In addition to offering capital, TAIV partners with portfolio companies to provide ongoing support and resources to enable their long-term success, including assistance with product-market fit, and an opportunity to connect with Toyota’s deep technical expertise and its extensive global network.
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Toyota AI Ventures looks for early-stage startups across a range of industries that are applying AI, data, and cloud technologies to tackle important problems and create new market opportunities. Existing investments include such diverse companies as:
• Elementary Robotics - developing robotics platforms to assist with automating everyday tasks
• Intuition Robotics - Creating social companion technologies using cognitive AI
• Joby Aviation - Pioneering an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) passenger aircraft service
• May Mobility - Offering communities a Level 4 self-driving shuttle service
• Sea Machines - Building autonomous control and navigation systems for the maritime industry
Jim Adler, Managing Director, TAIV, said investing in start-ups creates long-term relationships that helps Toyota explore the latest innovations in mobility.
Dr. Gill Pratt, Chief Executive Officer at TRI and TAIV, said Toyota AI Ventures helps us find and invest in tomorrow’s technology leaders by bridging the gap between technology start-ups and the emerging mobility industry.
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