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Toyota AI Ventures, the venture capital arm of the Toyota Research Institute, is a Silicon Valley-based fund investing globally in startups with cutting-edge solutions in the AI, smart-mobility, autonomy, robotics, data and cloud spaces while leveraging the global expertise and technical resources of the Toyota Group.In 2015 Toyota created the Toyota Research Institute aiming to support the research on next-generation mobility, robotics and new materials. Toyota AI Ventures was founded in 2017 with initial funding of $100m. 

IDC Ventures is the VC arm of Grupo IDC, a Latin American investment bank. The fund was created in 2019 by corporate executives, entrepreneurs and investors from Latin America, focused on pre-Series A to Series B rounds. Headquartered in Madrid with offices in Copenhagen and Guatemala, the company acts as an international VC working with tech companies to accelerate expansion across LatAm markets. Sectors of interest include fintech, on-demand transportation, digital tools for small and large retailers, and commercialization platforms for robotics.

Founded in Boston in 2015, Material Impact is a science-based investment fund backing products that make an impact on real-world problems. It currently has 10 companies in its portfolio, from seed to Series C investments. Its most recent investments have been in the $50m 2020 Series C round of SOURCE Global (formerly Zero Mass Water), the premier off-grid drinking water production tech using solar-powered panels, and in the 2020 $12m Series A round of  US electronics protective substance producer actnano.

Founded in 2016 in Boulder, Colorado, Blackhorn specializes in startup investment in potential game-changers for industry, including construction – its top priority for investment – manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture, transportation, water and energy. It has no geographical bias and currently has 48 companies in its portfolio with two acquisitions to date. Its most recent investments include in the undisclosed $8m round of US medtech Cytovale in January 2021 and in the $20.5m December 2020 Series A round of employees compensation fintech Foresight Risk, based in Silicon Valley.

Based in New York, VectoIQ was formed in 2016 to fund startups in the smart mobility space. It is led by Steve Girsky, former vice-chairman of General Motors with more than 30 years in the automobile industry. Mary Chan is the managing partner, who also worked at GM as president of global connected consumer. The VC mainly invests in sectors relating to autonomous vehicles, connected car, smart mobility, MaaS, electrification and cybersecurity.

With more than 175 years of history, Navistar is the fourth biggest truck-maker in the US. The company drives new innovations in engine technologies, with products ranging from commercial trucks and buses to defense vehicles.In June 2020, it partnered with self-driving trucking startup TuSimple to produce L4 autonomous trucks. It also invested in its first Chinese company TuSimple.In March 2021, Navistar stockholders approved acquisition by TRATON, part of the Volkswagen Group. TRATON has also invested in TuSimple.

TRATON is a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group and one of the world’s largest producer of commercial vehicles. It manufactures light-duty commercial vehicles, trucks and buses at 29 production and assembly sites in 17 countries.The company is now focusing on developing electric trucks and announced in March 2021 that it will invest a total of €1.6bn in e-mobility R&D by 2025. In September 2020, it partnered with self-driving trucking startup TuSimple to mass produce driverless trucks.In March 2021, Navistar stockholders approved the acquisition of Navistar by TRATON. Subject to regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to be completed by mid-May.

San Francisco-based DCVC, formerly named Data Collective, has made more than 400 investments in its 20 year history, with deep tech and science in general its key investment interests. It currently has 148 companies in its portfilio and has managed 48 exits to date, including acquisitions by Twitter and Amazon. Its most recent investments have included in the April 2021 £60m Series A round of British antibody medtech Alchemab Therapeutics and in the March 2021 $75m Series B round of Israeli blockchain development tool StarkWare Industries.

IRDI Capital Investissement supports innovative startups and local SMEs in southwest France, with offices in Bordeaux, Toulouse, and Montpellier. Over its 40-year history, the company has invested some €800m in more than 1,400 companies. 

Founded in 2015 in Limassol in Cyprus, Caspian Venture Capital Partners has at least six companies in its portfolio. Its last disclosed investment was in 2017 when it participated in sustainable transportation and magnetic levitation firm Hyperloop’s $135m Series B round. Prior to that, in 2015 it invested in US-based Diamond Foundry, the world’s first certified carbon-neutral lab-produced diamond manufacturer.

Capricorn Investment Group is one of the world’s largest mission-aligned investment companies, managing more than $6bn in multi-asset class portfolios for families, foundations and institutional investors.  Notably, it manages the investment portfolio of Jeff Skoll, the first President of eBay, and his charitable organization. The company has offices in Silicon Valley and New York. It has invested in 63 companies to date, many aimed at tackling key challenges facing our world today. It has managed 14 exits to date, including Tesla. Its main focus is on technology and sustainability, with a particular interest in deeptech, aerospace, transport, agtech, healthcare and energy. The firm’s most recent disclosed investments were in May 2021, via participation in the $100m Series B round of Canadian quantum computing startup Xanadu and the $28m Series B round of US geothermal tech company Fervo Energy.

PayPal is the US-based online payments company founded in 1999 and acquired by eBay in 2002. It is listed in NASDAQ under the ticker code PYPL.Besides facilitating online payments and money transfers for many e-commerce companies and other internet-based businesses, it is famous for its network of former founders and other alumni, many of whom went on to establish successful companies or became investors in the tech and internet industries. Some famous names linked to this network, sometimes called “PayPal Mafia”, include ex-CEO Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Dave McClure (founder of 500 Startups), and Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn co-founder).PayPal has invested in several companies, including ride-hailing firms Gojek and Uber and e-commerce platform MercadoLibre. It has also established PayPal Ventures as a separate VC arm and PayPal Incubator to support early-stage startups.

Facebook is a social networking platform founded by Mark Zuckerberg and partners in 2004. It is listed on the NASDAQ exchange under ticker code FB. Throughout its development it has acquired various complementary social media and networking services, such as Instagram and WhatsApp.As an investor, Facebook has invested in a wide range of companies. It invested in and later acquired virtual reality headset developers Oculus, and also invested in e-commerce enabler Meesho. In 2020, it joined Google, Tencent and other major tech investors as an investor in Gojek.

Launched in 2013, Japan’s Rakuten Capital is the corporate venture capital arm of conglomerate Rakuten. It manages a range of funds, such as the early-stage Rakuten Ventures, Rakuten Fintech Fund, and Rakuten Mobility Investments. Its portfolio covers a broad range of companies, including C2C e-commerce platform Carousell, ride-hailing unicorn Gojek, and video game vouchers platform CodaPay. Notable exits include the IPOs of US-based ride hailing company Lyft and image sharing site Pinterest.

Schneider Electric is a Europe-based company primarily providing energy management and automation solutions for homes, commercial and industrial-scale properties. The company was originally named Schneider & Cie, founded in 1836 as a metal and weaponry, but between 1975 and 1999 began to refocus towards the electrical industry. The company was renamed Schneider Electric in 1999.Schneider’s technologies focus on managing energy use and conserving energy through a combination of hardware and software. Consequently, Schneider’s investments into startups revolve around the energy sector, with companies like solar power management service Xurya, battery manufacturer Verkor, and building management SaaS Clockworks Analytics as part of their portfolio.

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