The auto industry is putting millions of dollars into startups as they search for sources of innovation. Park Indigo compare the five biggest auto giants venture arms who have invested the most in the space of two decades to reveal the future of the automotive industry; who’s investing the most and where.
By providing funding to startup companies during various phases of development BMW, Toyota, Ford, General Motors and Daimler AG are ensuring that they are powering some of the most innovative technology breakthroughs for the automotive industry, ever. From safer roads, to social companions, what other future changes will investment funding help to uncover?
Who are the five auto giants investing in?
The General Motors investment strategy for the past two decades has focused predominantly on autonomous vehicles. Out of their investment total sum of $338,710,000, almost half of that, $159,000,000, was spent in 2017 on Nauto Inc; a company who claim to be rethinking transportation safety by building a data platform for autonomous mobility that makes driving safer and fleets of vehicles smarter. GM’s next biggest spend has been on the renewables sector, spending $123,210,000 on investments since 2011 on companies including Proterra, a leader in the production of zero-emission electric buses, and Alphabet Energy, who manufacture the world’s first low cost thermoelectric generator.
BMW iVentures are the biggest spenders out of the five, forking out an eye-watering $670,800,000 on investments since 2012. The autonomous vehicle sector receives the most cash from BMW, $177,500,000 in total, also on Nauto Inc but also on Zendrive, a smartphone-powered road safety company that uses sensors to produce measurable insights on the driving behaviour of it’s users. Other big BMW investment spends include Carbon Robotics ($81,000,000 in 2016), ChargePoint Inc ($109,000,000 in 2017) the world’s largest network of electric vehicle charging stations, and Moovit ($50,000,000 in 2015) a public transit app and mapping service.
German multinational automotive corporation Daimler AG were the next biggest spender on investments across six different sectors: electric vehicles, robotics, apps & software, ride-sharing, autonomous vehicles and ‘other’. $254,500,000 has been invested in electric vehicle startups, with $172,500,000 of that going to Tesla since 2008. Daimler’s 2017 strategy has so far seen them investing in companies like ChargePoint Inc, Careem, Momenta.ai and Starship Technologies, totalling $295,200,000.
According to the graphic, Toyota Research Institute have spent $9,000,000 on investing in 2017. Unlike the other auto giants, Toyota have chosen to invest in only one area and one company; Intuition Robotics. Maker of the ElliQ robotic elder care assistant, Intuition Robotics are developing social companion technology to positively impact the lives of millions of older adults.
Toyota weren’t the only investing giant to choose to focus their spending on a single company. Ford Venture Capital Group spent $10,700,000 in 2005 on deCarta, who provide geospatial software platform that powers internet, mobile, personal navigation, and location-based service applications.
Which startups are most popular?
There are a few startups who appear numerous times within the piece who have received hundreds of thousands of dollars of investment from the auto giants: Chargepoint Inc, Proterra and Nauto Inc. General Motors have invested in Proterra and Nauto Inc, Daimler AG have invested in Chargepoint Inc, and BMW have invested in all three.
But, which of these startup favourites has received the most cash? Nauto Inc has received a total of $318,000,000 in 2017 from General Motors and BMW. That’s nearly half of BMW’s total investing spend for the past two decades, and just over 35 times more than Toyota’s total investing spend.
Which sectors are receiving the most investments?
It looks like there is a close-call between the electric vehicle sector and the autonomous vehicle sector as to who has been receiving the highest amount of investment from large automotive companies. Overall, the autonomous vehicle sector is just ahead and takes the position as the auto venture arms champion, receiving a total of $425,453,375 of investments. Electric vehicle startups, including Sakti3, follow closely behind having received a sum of $395,500,000.
The sectors that have received the least amount of investment are nanotech and ride sharing. Since 2012, General Motors have invested $22,500,000 in Nanosteel, a leader in nano-structured steel material design. This is the only form of nanotech investment that appears within the piece. Although the ride sharing sector appeared various time, companies such as Carpooling.com and Ridecell received just £31,800,000 from BMW and Daimler AG.
It’s no surprise that these auto giant venture arms are investing their money into autonomous vehicles, different softwares, and electric vehicles as the future of automotive progresses. As revolutionary designs are splashing across the markets, what auto giant will you pick for your vehicle of the future?
View the future of the automotive industry here.
(Source: Park Indigo)