Automakers accelerate their interest in startups

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With regards to startup investment, carmakers are typical over the road.

More than the past couple of years, we have seen a massive increase in venture funding by major auto manufacturers. Package counts are up, more automakers are investing and even more big rounds are getting done.

However, an evaluation of Crunchbase funding data for the 20 most significant global automakers finds vast variance in investment sizes, timing and strategic emphasis. Some automakers have targeted on unicorns and mega-rounds, while others are effective at the early level. Still others have yet to park much capital in startups, illustrating a long-term reticence to employ actively in the opportunity space.

None of this is especially surprising to industry insiders. Automakers “operate at a different time clock speed than the technology industry, ” said Bob Stallman, a partner at Fontinalis Partners, a transport-focused venture firm with office buildings in Detroit and Boston ma. Five to seven-year vehicle product cycles make start-up partnerships difficult because there is uncertainty about whether the company will still be around when a car comes to market.

That said, it’s no secret that automakers have shown more affinity for startup companies lately. Nor is it any secret what’s traveling that surge, given the large shifts the industry faces from the go up of electrical cars, independent vehicles, ride-hailing services and other emerging technologies and transportation business models.

Beneath, we attempt to quantify put together investment by automakers in startups of most stripes, along with acquisitions, with a give attention to how individual automakers compare.

Offer pace speeds up

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Initially functioning at deal count up. Broadly, funding records for the past five years show a dramatic go up in startup investment from 2016 and revving up further in 2017.

Inside the chart below, we look at the quantity of disclosed venture and seed rounds with contribution by the major automotive makers. Take into account, these are only disclosed rounds, so the actual number of assets may be quite a lttle bit higher, as automakers are known to do on stealth deals, as well.

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