Toyota Motor Corp. is doubling down on its efforts to invest in early-stage startups in the artificial intelligence and mobility industries.
The automaker said Thursday that Toyota AI Ventures, the venture-capital arm of the Toyota Research Institute, will open a second $100 million fund dedicated to pursuing these investments. After launching its first fund with $100 million in July 2017, the Silicon Valley-based firm now has $200 million in capital commitments.
"We are just seeing a tremendous amount of opportunity, especially as the mobility landscape evolves," Jim Adler, managing director of Toyota AI Ventures told Automotive News. "We wanted to make sure we had the dry powder to find more great startups."
So far, the firm has crafted a diverse portfolio among its 19 investments in the first fund. Early-stage startups such as self-driving shuttle provider May Mobility, electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing company Joby Aviation and cognitive AI firm Intuition Robotics are among its initial investments.