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November 9, 2018

Toyoda Gosei establishes new unit for funding start-ups

Toyoda Gosei will establish a Corporate Venture Capital Department in January 2019. This new department will serve as the company’s centre for 'flexible and swift investment in start-ups and venture capital to accelerate open innovations for practical application and commercialisation of new technologies and products', it says.

By Sam Duke

Toyoda Gosei will establish a Corporate Venture Capital Department in January 2019. This new department will serve as the company’s centre for ‘flexible and swift investment in start-ups and venture capital to accelerate open innovations for practical application and commercialisation of new technologies and products’, it says.

Toyoda Gosei formulated its medium and long-term business plan, the 2025 Business Plan, in May 2018 as a guide to acting flexibly and rapidly in a dramatically changing business environment. In a key area of activities in the Plan, “Venture into Innovation and New Mobility,” the company is developing e-rubber, a next-generation artificial muscle for robots and other applications, modular automotive products with human-machine interface functionality that will serve as a bridge between humans and automobiles in autonomous driving, and other new technologies and products.

In order to commercialise them, the Corporate Venture Capital Department will invest quickly in start-ups that are promising for synergy with Toyoda Gosei’s core technologies. The department will have an operating budget of JPY3bn (US$26m), and will invest it for a period of two years starting in January 2019.

Outline of new department Name: Corporate Venture Capital Department Operating budget: JPY3bn Period of investment: January 2019 to December 2020 (2 years) Investment targets: 1. start-ups with resources and technical abilities in the following four fields: (1) Robotics, (2) Semiconductors, (3) Next-generation automotive parts, and (4) Materials 2. Venture capital to gather information on the above start-ups

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