The motor company CVC is launching its second Exploratory Fund vintage later this year.
Yamaha Motor Ventures, the corporate venturing unit of vehicle and engine manufacturer Yamaha Motor, plans to launch a successor to its Yamaha Motor Exploratory Fund in October this year, the unit’s chief operating officer, Anish Patel, told Global Corporate Venturing. Like its predecessor, the new fund will be capitalised to the tune of $100m, but its remit will be wider and include new areas such as fintech and software-based plays. The new vehicle will take a broader investment approach than its predecessor, according to Patel. “We will stick to some of the original focus areas around mobility, healthtech and agtech, but we are adding fintech and insurtech to our thesis as well,” he said. Yamaha also anticipates potentially making more opportunistic investments if the economic climate dampens valuations, leading the team to use more stringent metrics to assess startups, Patel commented. The fund’s strategy will remain broadly the same as the first exploratory fund, though the size of the team will be increasing. It will seek to take on a few more growth-stage deals – two or three out of the 15-20 investments it will look to make – than the first vintage did Yamaha Motor makes motorcycles, other land and watercraft as well as engines and other specialised products. Yamaha Motor Ventures is more eclectic in its investment targets, however, with focus areas such as wellness and health, agriculture and artificial intelligence. The first 10-year exploratory fund was launched in 2018 and has made 19 investments to date. Portfolio companies include electronic bike and scooter leasing and purchase platform RidePanda, motorcycle marketplace CredR, industrial artificial intelligence technology provider Canvass AI and agricultural ripeness biosensing platform Strella Biotechnology. It comes as Yamaha Motor also announced the launch of another new vehicle, its $100m 15-year Sustainability Fund, last week, focusing on sectors including decarbonisation and the circular economy. The Sustainability Fund will also be managed under the auspices of Yamaha’s innovation team and will invest larger tickets in later stages compared with the exploratory funds.