TOYOTA AI VENTURES LAUNCHES NEW $100M FUND
>> Firm continues commitment to discover and invest in early-stage startups in autonomous mobility and robotics
Los Altos, Calif. ― Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Toyota AI Ventures (TAIV) today announced Fund II, a new $100M fund dedicated to investing in early-stage startups developing disruptive technologies and business models in the autonomous mobility and robotics markets. Led by founding managing director Jim Adler, who also serves as executive advisor at the Toyota Research Institute (TRI), Toyota AI Ventures was founded in July 2017 as a subsidiary of TRI. In less than two years, Toyota AI Ventures has invested in a diverse portfolio of 19 startups. Fund II brings the firm's total assets under management to more than $200M to invest in and support promising startups around the world.
"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 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.
"The growing interest in automated systems has created great opportunities to improve human lives using AI and next-generation mobility technology," said Dr. Gill Pratt, chief executive officer at TRI and Toyota AI Ventures investment committee member. "Under Jim's leadership, Toyota AI Ventures helps us find and invest in tomorrow's technology leaders by bridging the gap between technology startups and the emerging mobility industry."
Toyota AI Ventures will also use Fund II to continue to strengthen its portfolio services. In addition to offering capital, TAIV partners with portfolio companies to provide ongoing support and resources to enable their long-term success, including assistance with product-market fit, and an opportunity to connect with Toyota's deep technical expertise and its extensive global network.
"Our startups are our customers, and we strive for deep connections based on a shared vision, common values, and aligned incentives," said Jim Adler. "It's about building relationships that last. Today's announcement is a demonstration of our long-term commitment to supporting the best entrepreneurs who are creating the next generation of disruptive innovations and businesses."
Toyota AI Ventures existing investments include such diverse companies as:
Apex.AI develops reliable, safe, and certified software for autonomous mobility systems. Its initial products are Apex.OS, a robust software framework built on the Robot Operating System (ROS), and Apex.Autonomy, a set of software building blocks that enables developers to create a custom autonomy stack.
Boxbot is building self driving vehicles to address the last-mile problem in logistics. Through a combination of robotics and autonomous systems, Boxbot is making deliveries much easier to receive and less expensive to manage.
Connected Signals is a connected vehicle data analytics company that provides predictive, real-time, traffic signal information using existing infrastructure. This data, derived using sophisticated proprietary models, supports applications that improve safety, increase fuel efficiency, reduce carbon emissions, and improve traffic flow.
May Mobility brings communities closer together, with fleets of self-driving vehicles that make short-distance travel safe, personal, and effortless. May Mobility’s fully-managed, right-sized microtransit service helps people engage more fully in the places where they live and work.
Metawave seeks to revolutionize the future of wireless communications and automotive radar sensing. Leveraging adaptive metamaterials and AI, Metawave is building high-performance radars capable of 4D point-cloud imaging, non-line of sight object detection, and vehicle-to-vehicle communication to make cars smarter and more connected.
Nauto combines leading edge vehicle hardware with an artificial intelligence platform to make any car a smart car, alerting professional drivers to potential hazards outside the vehicle or distraction inside and offering fleet managers insight and feedback to help drivers improve.
Parallel Domain provides 3D environment generation software for autonomous vehicle simulation. The fully-automated platform generates high fidelity living worlds with no manual labor, and offers clients configurable, detailed, and massively scalable simulation environments that accelerate the time to safety for self-driving vehicles.
Perceptive Automata is solving one of the hardest problems of automated driving: enabling vehicles to predict and understand human behavior. Perceptive Automata allows autonomous systems to anticipate human reactions so they can navigate safely and smoothly around pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers.
About Toyota AI Ventures
A subsidiary of the Toyota Research Institute, Toyota AI Ventures is a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that invests in early-stage startups from around the world. The firm focuses on investments in artificial intelligence (AI), data, and cloud technologies, as applied to autonomous mobility and robotics. For more information about Toyota AI Ventures, please visit www.toyota-ai.ventures.