When it comes to startup investment, automakers are still going full speed ahead.
From ride-hailing apps to driverless car technology, transportation startups have attracted unprecedented sums of investment capital from auto manufacturers in recent years. In the past few quarters, that trend has been accelerating.
An analysis of Crunchbase data shows that since the beginning of 2019, the world’s largest car and truck manufacturers have led financing rounds valued at more than $6 billion. Over that period, they’ve participated in more than 50 deals for several million dollars and up, indicating an expanded willingness to pump significant sums into rounds.
“It has been a continuation of the trends for many of the automakers that have been particularly active over the past few years,” said Chris Stallman, a partner at Detroit-based transport venture firm Fontinalis Partners. “In 2019 and 2020, however, it has been interesting to see a few automakers—particularly those in Asia—aggressively ramping up their innovation efforts.”