Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi has launched Alliance Ventures, a new corporate venture capital fund that plans to invest up to $1 billion to support open innovation over the next five years.
Renault (40%), Nissan (40%) and Mitsubishi Motors (20%) will jointly fund the entity, which will have a dedicated investment committee to make investment decisions and monitor their performance.
In its first year, Alliance Ventures expects to invest up to $200m in startups and open innovation partnerships with technology entrepreneurs focused on new mobility, including vehicle electrification, autonomous systems, connectivity and artificial intelligence.
Led by François Dossa, who has over 20 years of experience in investment banking, plus six years of experience within the Alliance, most recently, as chief executive officer of Nissan Brazil, the fund will invest in startups to bring new technologies and businesses to the Alliance while ensuring a fair financial return. The fund will make strategic investments at all startup stages and will incubate both new automotive entrepreneurs and forge new partnerships.
It will define innovation areas and geographic markets for investment, working with existing research and advanced engineering teams, and will recruit venture capital experts to develop the platform. It is expected to be co-located in Silicon Valley, Paris, Yokohama and Beijing.
The first deal will be a strategic investment in Ionic Materials, a US-based company which is developing solid-state cobalt-free battery materials.