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Toyota AI Ventures rebrands to Toyota Ventures, adds $300m to invest in emerging tech and carbon neutrality


Toyota’s first standalone, early-stage venture capital firm, Toyota AI Ventures, will change its name to Toyota Ventures. The VC firm will also grow its total assets under management to more than $500 million with the addition of two $150 million early-stage funds: the Toyota Ventures Frontier Fund and the Toyota Ventures Climate Fund.

The firm says the new brand and additional capital are a reflection of its broadening scope and Toyota’s commitment to partnering with talented entrepreneurs to bring innovative technologies and business models to market.

Founded in 2017 as a subsidiary of Toyota Research Institute to help Toyota discover what’s next, Toyota Ventures has invested in 38 companies in artificial intelligence, autonomy, cloud computing, data, mobility, and robotics. Through its Frontier Fund, Toyota Ventures will continue exploring those areas and will also expand the fund’s thesis to include smart cities, digital health, financial technologies, materials and energy.

In addition, as part of Toyota’s ongoing efforts to accelerate carbon dioxide reduction for the benefit of society and the planet, Toyota has established a new Climate Fund that the Toyota Ventures team will manage. The global fund will focus on finding and funding early-stage startups that develop innovative solutions for carbon neutrality.

“Startups are tackling the world’s challenges, and at Toyota Ventures we want to open even more paths to investing in them. Since we started our first fund four years ago, we’ve been on a journey with our portfolio companies to discover what’s next for Toyota and for the world. Today, we’re thrilled to be embarking on the next leg of that journey with the Frontier and the Climate Funds.” Jim Adler, Founding Managing Director, Toyota Ventures said.

Gill Pratt, Chief Scientist, Toyota Motor Corporation, CEO, Toyota Research Institute, Board Member, Toyota Ventures: noted that they’re taking a diverse science-driven approach to addressing climate change and offering people many ways to lower their own carbon footprint. ”Part of our strategy includes partnering with talented entrepreneurs from around the world to help accelerate innovation in the startup community. We are tremendously excited about tapping into that talent through the Climate Fund.” he said.

Along with expanding investment categories, Toyota Ventures will grow its team and work with a new Advisor Network to continue delivering the type of founder-first support that has been a hallmark of the firm’s approach. From offering guidance on product and business development to supporting companies in their diversity and recruiting efforts, Toyota Ventures focuses on delivering value and building long-term relationships to help startups succeed.

Entrepreneurs seeking early-stage funding are invited to learn more and submit an online pitch through the Toyota Ventures website.

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Reginah Wamboi

Reginah is a seasoned Kenyan journalist with a keen interest in business and African startups. Send tips to info@techtrendske.co.ke

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