Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi has announced the launch of Alliance Ventures, a new corporate venture capital fund that plans to invest up to $1 billion to support open innovation in auto-tech over the next five years. The fund will have offices in Silicon Valley, Paris, Yokohama, Beijing and Tel Aviv close to the technology and research centers of the Alliance member companies, as well as to areas like Israel with strong innovation ecosystems.
In its first year, the fund expects to invest up to $200 million in startups and open innovation partnerships with technology entrepreneurs focused on new mobility, including vehicle electrification, autonomous systems, connectivity and artificial intelligence. With further annual investments, Alliance Ventures is set to become the largest corporate venture capital fund in the automotive industry over the period of Alliance 2022, the strategic midterm plan launched last year by Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi.
Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi CEO and chairman Carlos Ghosn said, “Our open innovation approach will allow us to invest and collaborate with startup companies and technology entrepreneurs, who will benefit from the global scale of the Alliance. This new fund reflects the collaborative spirit and entrepreneurial mind-set at the heart of the Alliance.”
The new fund offers potential partners access to the global scale and scope of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, which sold more than 10 million vehicles in 2017 through 10 separate brands with a presence in all major automotive markets.
Alliance Ventures will invest in startups to bring new technologies and businesses to the Alliance while ensuring a fair financial return. The fund will make strategic investments at all start-up stages and will incubate both new automotive entrepreneurs and forge new partnerships.
The $200 million initial venture capital investment comes in addition to more than €8.5 billion in total annual R&D investments by the Alliance members.
Alliance Ventures will be led by François Dossa, who has over 20 years of experience in investment banking, plus six years of experience within the Alliance, most recently, as chief executive officer of Nissan Brazil. The Alliance Ventures team will also draw on the expertise and business opportunities identified by a Cross-Functional Team of experts from Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi.
This initiative complements the Alliance strategy to seek incremental revenues, cost savings and cost-avoidance in areas including electrification, autonomous drive systems and vehicle connectivity. By the end of its strategic plan, the Alliance will launch 12 pure electric models, utilizing common EV platforms and components, while also bringing to market 40 vehicles with autonomous drive technology and developing robo-vehicle ride-hailing services.
Alliance Ventures will define innovation areas and geographic markets for investment, working with existing research and advanced engineering teams, and will recruit venture capital experts to develop the platform. It is expected to be co-located in
Renault (40%), Nissan (40%) and Mitsubishi Motors (20%) will jointly fund the entity, which will have a dedicated investment committee to make investment decisions and monitor their performance.
“This investment initiative is designed to attract the world’s most promising automotive-technology startups to the Alliance,” said Ghosn.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 14, 2018
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