BMW i Ventures, which is the investment arm of automotive major BMW, announced it was forming a second venture capital fund that would be aimed at accelerating efforts to create sustainable transportation, manufacturing, and supply chains. The German automaker is allocating USD 300 million to bankroll startups focusing in sustainability, advanced manufacturing, and futuristic transportation systems.
BMW i Ventures is a Silicon Valley-based hybrid venture capital firm that invests in cutting-edge solutions and fast-growing technology start-ups. Fund II will actively focus on sustainability and zero emissions across all sectors that will include designing, manufacturing, and production of cars rather than core vehicle technology. BMW i Ventures began investing in sustainable technology back in 2019 with investments in Turntide Technologies that produces smart electric motor system, Solid Power which is a solid-state battery tech company, and Boston Metal, which is a company focusing on decarbonizing metal industry. BMW has also invested in Prometheus Fuels, a company that produces carbon-neutral gasoline. The investment arm of BMW acts independently while having a complete backing from the automaker. BMW i Ventures will regulate the fund and will release money from its initial USD 525 million fund. The combination of these two funds brings total venture investment pool of the German automaker to around USD 900 million, which is by far the largest venture fund in the auto industry on a global scale. BMW has already invested in over 50 startups and companies that have gone public or are yet to go public.
The new fund of BMW i Ventures will chiefly invest in companies that are actively putting in efforts to minimize carbon emissions in the transportation sector. Fund I of BMW i Ventures focused on autonomous and digital vehicle technology and it recently made an investment in Kodiak Robotics, which is a developer of long-haul trucks equipped with self-driving technology, to help the company expand its fleet and accelerate development of its autonomous technology.