Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Toyota AI Ventures (TAIV) announced Fund II, a new $100 million fund dedicated to investing in early-stage startups in the autonomous mobility and robotics markets.
"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."
Toyota AI Ventures says it 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
With Fund II, Toyota AI Ventures says it will expand its search for talented entrepreneurs to invest in as part of its mission to help discover what's next for Toyota.
Toyota AI Ventures will also use Fund II to strengthen its portfolio services. In addition to offering capital, TAIV partners with portfolio companies to provide ongoing support and resources, including assistance with product-market fit, and an opportunity to connect with Toyota's technical knowledge and its global network.