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Friday, April 12, 2024

Toyota Ventures to invest additional $300 million in climate, AI startups 

Toyota Ventures, the early-stage venture capital arm of Toyota, has 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 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.   

Toyota Ventures ↗, which is based in the San Francisco Bay Area currently has portfolio companies in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. With these new funds, the firm is now targeting to support more entrepreneurs around the world as they tackle tough challenges to build a better future for society and the planet.   

Investment focus 

According to the company, the TVFF II will focus on startups at the cutting edge of deep technology in areas like AI, robotics, mobility, cloud, and quantum computing, to expand Toyota Ventures’ international presence. 

It added that the 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.   

What they are saying 

Commenting on the new funds, founder and general partner of Toyota Ventures, Jim Adler, said: 

  • “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.”   

The chief scientist of Toyota Motor Corporation, CEO of TRI, and board member at Toyota Ventures, Gill Pratt, also commented on the fund saying:  

  • “Innovation is a team sport, and today, more than ever, it’s important for leaders like Toyota to collaborate with up-and-coming startups to take on the critical challenges we all face in a rapidly evolving world.  
  • “These new funds underscore our dedication to supporting entrepreneurs who are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, and I’m thrilled to continue this journey alongside the Toyota Ventures team and portfolio.”   

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 guiding product and business development, fundraising, marketing, and other areas to help companies scale effectively.  

Samson Akintaro

Samson Akintaro is a tech enthusiast and has over a decade experience covering and writing about the tech industry. He is currently the Tech Analyst at Nairametrics.

James Mackreides
James Mackreides
'Mac' is a short tempered former helicopter pilot , now a writer based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Loves dogs, the outdoors and staying far away from the ocean.

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