FM Capital adds 2 ‘auto tech pioneers’ as technology operating partners
FM Capital added two more industry experts to boost the venture capital company, which focuses on early-to-mid stage companies in automotive and transportation technology.
Joining as technology operating partners are Jake Sigal and Massimo Baldini, who FM Capital called “auto tech pioneers.”
According to a news release, the pair will not only provide a range of advisory and due diligence services for FM Capital and its portfolio companies, but have also invested in FM Capital’s Fund IV.
FM Capital has operating experience across OEM distribution, dealer tech and mobility services as well as a base of strategic limited partners.
The firm explained the emergence of the software-defined vehicle, alongside industry digitization and decarbonization has highlighted the need for “pragmatic and progressive” applications that can deliver value to customers and efficiency for automakers,
FM Capital said that’s a perfect match for Sigal and Baldini’s backgrounds.
FM Capital highlighted that the pair are successful entrepreneurs who have founded, developed and sold automotive technology companies and also helped build an innovation culture in and around the Detroit area.
Sigal is a Detroit-based serial tech entrepreneur working at the intersection of the consumer experience and the automotive and mobility industries. He is an active board member of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), which produces the annual CES show. He has also been a major advocate for innovation in the state of Michigan, working with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, serving as an early stakeholder and advisor with Techstars Mobility Detroit, and working with universities and startup incubators.
Baldini put his chemistry degree to work for blue chip companies, including Procter & Gamble and Whirlpool, then subsequently switched to business and operations after earning his MBA.
The pair co-founded and led two tech companies, Livio and Tome, which were acquired by Ford and Valtech, in 2013 and 2023, respectively.
FM Capital managing partner Chase Fraser elaborated about what bringing Sigal and Baldini to the firm means.
“Jake and Massimo offer existing portfolio companies and prospects access to their hard-won insights from funding, scaling and delivering solutions in the automotive space,” said Fraser, who is among the experts scheduled to appear during the Auto Intel Summit + National Remarketing Conference planned for April 23-25 in Cary, N.C.
“They know what Motor City wants and needs — and can help our portfolio companies adapt to changing realities in the market,” Fraser added.
Their core areas of focus include: assisting with strategy, identifying technology trends and investment targets, and engaging with portfolio and target companies for technical readiness and due diligence.
“In the current environment, it’s more important than ever to not only understand what OEMs need, but also how to deliver innovation and drive adoption,” FM Capital managing partner Mark Norman said. “Jake and Massimo’s success in founding and exiting venture-backed companies is incredibly useful for both new investments and existing portfolio companies.”
FM Capital’s investment focus is on early to mid-stage companies across a range of transportation technologies, including auto commerce, autonomy and sensors, connectivity and fleet management, energy transition and smart mobility.
The firm identifies trends and partners with teams who are reinventing the movement of people and goods and redefining how transportation services are delivered and consumed.
FM Capital typically invests between $5 to $10 million in companies with transformative solutions in transportation at the series A stage or the first institutional round.
“Although we’ve served as special advisors and provided technical due diligence for several years, we see a huge opportunity to leverage FM Capital’s platform for even greater impact,” Sigal said.
“We believe we expand the playing field for innovative auto tech companies in Detroit through not only our experience and networks, but also our ability to close the founder-funder gap that can hold back companies from rapid growth and execution,” Sigal went on to say.