Toyota launches second $100 million VC fund targeting autonomous mobility and robotics startups

Toyota AI Ventures — the venture capital subsidiary of Toyota Research Institute, Japan automaker Toyota’s R&D arm — debuted in July 2017 with a $100 million fund focused on early-stage investments in AI, autonomous mobility, robotics, data, and the cloud. Since then, it’s supplied cash to startups like self-driving shuttle company May Mobility, maritime autonomous vessel software and systems provider Sea Machines, lidar developer Blackmore, and 15 others, some of which have gone on to raise substantial follow-on funding. Air taxi firm Joby Aviation, for instance, secured $100 million last February, and Palo Alto, California-based fleet monitoring company Nauto raised $159 million from Greylock Partners and Softbank’s Vision Fund.
Now, to cement its commitment to cross-industry AI and machine learning startups, Toyota AI Ventures is launching Fund II, a new $100 million fund targeting autonomous mobility and robotics markets. T