Toyota venture capital firm to rebrand; make new $300M investment
Toyota venture capital firm Toyota AI Ventures is rebranding and investing another $300 million in emerging technologies and carbon neutrality efforts.
The firm will be now known as Toyota Ventures, and the additional investment boost grows its total assets under management to more than $500 million. Further, two early-stage funds — the Toyota Ventures Frontier Fund and the Toyota Ventures Climate Fund — adds another $150 million each to the pot.
"At Toyota, we're taking a diverse science-driven approach to addressing climate change and offering people many ways to lower their own carbon footprint," said Gill Pratt, chief scientist of Toyota Motor Corporation, CEO of Toyota Research Institute and board member of Toyota Ventures, in a press release. "Part of our strategy includes partnering with talented entrepreneurs from around the world to help accelerate innovation in the startup community. We are tremendously excited about tapping into that talent through the Climate Fund."
The firm noted the new brand and additional capital "are a reflection of the firm's broadening scope and Toyota's commitment to partnering with talented entrepreneurs to bring innovative technologies and business models to market."
Providing a bit of background on the firm, it was launched in 2017 and has since invested in 38 companies in artificial intelligence, autonomy, cloud computing, data, mobility and robotics.
Through the aforementioned Frontier Fund, Toyota Ventures will continue exploring those areas and will also expand the fund's thesis to include smart cities, digital health, financial technologies, materials and energy, the firm shared.
On the carbon neutrality front, the Toyota brand has launched a new Climate Fund that the Toyota Ventures team will manage, and will focus on finding and funding early-stage startups that develop innovative solutions for carbon neutrality.
"Startups are tackling the world's challenges, and at Toyota Ventures we want to open even more paths to investing in them," said Jim Adler, founding managing director of Toyota Ventures. "Since we started our first fund four years ago, we've been on a journey with our portfolio companies to discover what's next for Toyota and for the world. Today, we're thrilled to be embarking on the next leg of that journey with the Frontier and the Climate Funds."
Along with the expanding investment categories, Toyota Ventures will also be growing its own team to provide the best support possible to its new ventures.