The Chilean auto parts manufacturer has shut down its $20m startup investment subsidiary and its Emasa Mobility Hub after three years.

Emasa Mobility Hub

Image of Emasa Mobility Hub courtesy of LinkedIn.

Chilean car parts provider Emasa has wound down its $20m corporate venture capital arm, Emasa Ventures, Diario Financiero reported yesterday.

Launched in 2021, Emasa Ventures was part of the parent firm’s plan to shift 30% of its revenue base to zero-emission energy sources by 2030. The firm intended to transition into electromobility, focusing on digitalising auto parts sales in the short term and eventually developing EV technology and services.

The unit, led by former head of investments Sebastián Díaz Muzio, targeted EV, connected vehicle, shared mobility and digital platform startups from seed to series A stages, with a ticket size between $500,000 to $2m. It only made one investment, providing $2m for usage-based car insurance platform Jooycar.

Díaz Muzio helped launch Emasa Mobility Hub, a 1,200-square-metre space to gather electromobility ecosystem partners. The hub was co-run by general manager Arsenio Fernández Ovalle and hosted entrepreneurs, startups, accelerators, incubators, investors and other companies. It has since been transformed into a training centre for institutions and companies.

Roberto Jara Araya, general manager of Emasa, told Diario Financiero the CVC group’s termination was due to a business restructuring from December 2023 to early 2024. It involved Emasa’s former general manager, Víctor Ide Benner, as well as the Emasa Ventures executives being let go. The firm returned to its established business lines including sales of automotive parts.

Jara Araya explained that the less favourable outcomes in the second half of 2023 led to these decisions but added that Emasa did not discard the idea of innovation altogether. While electromobility will still be relevant to Emasa’s long-term strategy, he said a dedicated staff will be needed for this transformation.

“It is quite a novel business,” Jara Araya was quoted as saying. “In the future, it will undoubtedly be a very valid alternative, but right now we have to be very careful because we are not prepared and we don’t have the people to develop it.”

In March this year, another corporate in Latin America, Mexican Coca-Cola bottler Arca Continental, shut its strategic investment unit, AC Ventures.

Edison Fu

Edison Fu is a reporter and Asia liaison at Global Corporate Venturing.