Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi launch $1 bil venture capital fund

0 Comments Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance at CES

The world's largest automotive alliance has today (10 January), announced a new corporate venture capital fund to provide up to $1bn in investment for innovative electrification, autonomous and connectivity projects.

The three plan to invest up to $1 billion over the next five years in startups that focus on advanced autonomous driving, artificial intelligence and other technologies, group leader Carlos Ghosn said on Tuesday.

The fund, Alliance Ventures, plans to invest up to $200m in its initial year in start-ups and open innovation partnerships with technology entrepreneurs.

The press release says the new fund offers potential partners access to the global scale and scope of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, which sold more than 10 million vehicles in 2017 through 10 separate brands with a presence in all major automotive markets.

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Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi expects combined revenues to reach $240 billion, with annual unit sales of more than 14 million by the end of 2022.

The first deal is a strategic equity investment in Ionic Materials, a US-based company developing cobalt-free solid-state battery materials - although the alliance did not disclose the size of the investment. "This new fund reflects the collaborative spirit and entrepreneurial mind-set at the heart of the Alliance".

Carlos Ghosn, Chairman, and CEO of the R-N-M Alliance enthusiastically shared his vision for the venture at CES stating, "We want to make sure we are being challenged", says Ghosn, "the alliance is created to be a one-stop shop to talk about ideas".

Technology start-ups are an increasingly appealing investment for global corporates and venture capitalist in the Middle East and globally.

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Alliance Ventures is part of the group's 2022 strategy to improve cooperation and double annualised cost synergies between the three companies to more than €10bn by the end of 2022.

Alliance Ventures will be 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. As well as acquiring part of the company, Alliance has agreed a research and development partnership with Ionic - which could help drive innovation in electric cars.

Alliance Ventures will establish offices in Paris, California's Silicon Valley, Yokohama and Beijing initially with Ghosn suggesting hubs in Tel Aviv and Mumbai are on the agenda in the future. Renault and Nissan will both put up 40% of the capital for the new fund, with Mitsubishi Motors financing the remainder.

Alliance Ventures will invest in start-ups to bring new technologies and businesses, while ensuring fair return on investment.

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