Jim Adler, general partner at Toyota Ventures, is one of the 100 leading corporate venturing professionals in our 2024 Powerlist.

Jim Adler founded Toyota Ventures, Japanese carmaker Toyota’s first standalone early-stage venture capital firm, in July 2017 and since then has seen it grow to a unit with more than $800m in investment capital.

The team invests in AI, autonomy, mobility, robotics, cloud technology, smart cities, digital health, fintech and materials through the Toyota Ventures Frontier Fund. It also invests in startups that are creating scalable solutions for carbon neutrality, as part of the Toyota Ventures Climate Fund.

“At a time when some investors have scaled back, we are scaling up by doubling down on our initial Frontier and Climate Funds”

The unit raised an additional $300m in April 2024, half of which was set aside for Frontier Fund II, led by partner David Sokolic, while the remainder went to Toyota Ventures Climate Fund II, led by partner Lisa Coca.

“At a time when some investors have scaled back, we are scaling up by doubling down on our initial Frontier and Climate Funds. With breakthroughs in generative AI, e-fuels, space commercialisation, carbon capture and synthetic biology, it is a crucial time to be investing for Toyota,” says Adler.

The first Frontier Fund’s investments included space debris removal service Starfish Space, nanotechnology biosensor producer Scentian Bio and Haiqu, which develops quantum computing software tools. Fusion microreactor Avalanche Energy, energy storage technology developer e-Zinc and green hydrogen producer Ecolectro are among the initial Climate Fund’s portfolio.

In recent months, the San Francisco-based unit invested in wildfire and vegetation management tool developer BurnBot, AI-driven sustainability technology provider Orbital Materials and River, which produces electric scooters.

Before founding Toyota Ventures, Adler joined Toyota subsidiary Toyota Research Institute in 2016, where he served as VP of data and business development. He started his career as a rocket engineer at Lockheed Martin.

Powerlist cover

The Global Corporate Venturing Powerlist represents the 100
individuals spearheading the future of the corporate venturing industry.

These individuals excel in terms of their venturing approach and structure, number and quality of portfolio companies and in their contributions to the corporate venturing profession.

See the full 2024 Powerlist here.