Toyota AI Ventures recently launched Fund II, a new $100 million fund dedicated to investing in early-stage startups focused on the autonomous mobility and robotics markets. Toyota AI Ventures was created in July 2017 as a subsidiary of Toyota Research Institute. The company currently has investments in 19 startups.
“Auto manufacturers must participate in the startup ecosystem to stay ahead of the rapid shift in the auto industry,” said Jim Adler, managing director of Toyota AI Ventures. “Investing in startups creates long-term relationships that help Toyota explore the latest innovations in mobility.”
TAIV looks for startups in their early, initial stages focused on applying AI, data, and cloud solutions. Current investments include:
- Elementary Robotics, which is developing robotics platforms to assist with automating everyday tasks.
- Intuition Robotics, which is creating social companion technologies using cognitive AI.
- Joby Aviation’s electric vertical takeoff and landing system for passenger aircraft service.
- May Mobility, which offers a community-based self-driving shuttle service.
- Sea Machines, which is building autonomous control and navigation systems for the maritime industry.
TAIV will also use Fund II to continue to deepen its portfolio services. In addition to offering capital, TAIV partners with companies to provide support and resources, including assistance with product-market fit and connecting with Toyota’s technical expertise and global network.
Image Credit: Toyota AI Ventures / Realtime Robotics