Toyota Ventures raises $300m to expand early-stage investments in frontier technology and climate solutions

Toyota Ventures raises $300m to expand early-stage investments in frontier technology and climate solutions

Published: 11-04-2024 10:00:00 | By: Pie Kamau | hits: 1852 | Tags:

Toyota Ventures, the early-stage venture capital arm of Toyota, announced two $150 million funds to expand its investments in startups developing disruptive technologies and business models at the forefront of innovation. The addition of the two new funds, Toyota Ventures Frontier Fund II (TVFF II) and Toyota Ventures Climate Fund II (TVCF II), brings the firm's total assets under management to over $800 million.

Since its founding in July 2017, Toyota Ventures has furthered its mission of helping Toyota discover what's next by investing in more than 75 startups across areas ranging from artificial intelligence and robotics to hydrogen solutions and renewable energy. Toyota Ventures is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has portfolio companies in North AmericaEurope, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. With these new funds, the firm can support more entrepreneurs around the world as they tackle tough challenges to build a better future for society and the planet.

Jim Adler, Founder and General Partner, Toyota Ventures: "At Toyota Ventures, we are explorers. Our role is to understand technology trends that could advance Toyota's mobility transformation in the near term and embrace the next generation of disruptive innovation in the long term. At a time when some investors have scaled back, we're scaling up by doubling down on our initial Frontier and Climate Funds. With seismic breakthroughs in generative AI, e-fuels, space commercialization, carbon capture, and synthetic biology, it's a crucial time to be investing for Toyota."

TVFF II will focus on startups at the cutting edge of deep technology in areas like AI, robotics, mobility, cloud, and quantum computing, with an eye towards expanding Toyota Ventures' international presence. The new fund will be led by Frontier Fund partner David Sokolic, a veteran investor and operating executive. Portfolio companies in the initial Frontier Fund include satellite servicing provider Starfish Space, biosensor maker Scentian Bio, and quantum computing software startup Haiqu, among others.

TVCF II will seek out startups developing smart, scalable solutions that combat climate change and promote environmental sustainability. It will build on the firm's inaugural climate-focused fund, which launched in 2021 and grew to a portfolio of 18 companies under the leadership of Climate Fund partner Lisa Coca. The first Climate Fund portfolio includes companies in renewable energy like Avalanche Energy; energy storage and batteries like e-Zinc and AM Batteries; carbon capture, removal and utilization like Air Company and Living Carbon; hydrogen solutions like Ecolectro; and other areas aligned with Toyota's carbon neutrality goals.

Going beyond capital, Toyota Ventures aims to leverage Toyota's global network, deep technical expertise, and strategic partnerships to assist startups in its portfolio. It has a portfolio support team dedicated to providing guidance in product and business development, fundraising, marketing, and other areas to help companies scale effectively. Some of the firm's early portfolio companies that continue to partner with Toyota include aerial ridesharing pioneer Joby Aviation and autonomous vehicle leader May Mobility.