Toyota is set to invest $800M in Automation, AI, Connectivity and Others?
Reports have it that Toyota, the Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer is creating a new $800 million global investment fund designed to support growth stage companies that develop innovative technologies in automation, AI, machine learning, data and analytics, connectivity and smart cities; and as such is transitioning from good old fashioned car making to an extensive focus on technological advancements.
According to Forbes, the fund is one of the first major steps following Toyota’s late July announcement that it was forming a new holding company called Woven Planet Holdings, Inc., which will begin operations in January 2021 and will take the place of Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development, Inc., located in Tokyo. Woven Capital, a part of Woven Planet Holdings will invest not only in the above listed verticals but in other venture capital funds in order to broaden and accelerate its global coverage.
Toyota Supporting Innovation Now Is Perfect Timing…
As more technology solutions emerge and more people digitally transform their everyday everything, investment rates in new tech and innovative tech also increases. Innovation will only keep on improving as long as investors are willing to put in considerable funds into the process of creativity and advancement.
A report stated that African tech startups with 311 companies secured $491.6 million worth of investment in 2019 and Nigeria got 24.8% of that fund. The number of investors in African tech startups jumped by 61% to reach 261. The Nigerian fintech space took the lead in Africa in 2019 attracting $122 million in funds while United States remains in the lead globally.
Tech ecosystems take time and money to build. Silicon Valley has been in the works for over 50 years with tech giants like Intel, HP etc. Today, it is the most talked about tech success story. The success we see in the Nigeria tech space is also a testament to the importance of funding and investments.
Finance always plays a critical role in innovation as it allows the researcher or innovator to conduct research and adopt necessary technologies for inventions and develop accordingly. Accessing finance is one major challenge for seed and early stage businesses usually as a result of lack of track records. Do investors love their numbers or what? We can only assume now that Toyota stays more open minded to creators and innovators and give the underdog a fighting chance in this dog eat dog business.
Until the investments are being spread across organizations globally, here are a few solutions for the funding problem many tech startups may face:
- Create a scalable business model- build a business model that works and not base your processes on what everyone else does.
- Determine how much money you need: specificity is important, every investors wants to know how you intend to spend their money.
- Find the right funding option for your project: You many need to use one or a combination of funding options in order to attract the right kind of investor.
- Spend smartly once you are funded: prioritizing is key.
Finding funding is always tricky especially for startups but taking these tips into considerations could really nurture the entire process of raising funds and finding investors.