Before we get into it this week, some big news from the CB Insights team: as longtime readers will have noticed, we’ve given our platform and research portal a major update.
There’s a new auto tech research portal dedicated to all things mobility, including an ongoing tracker of recent deals in the space (like Nauto’s $159M mega-round). Our content will now be tightly integrated with our platform’s capabilities; see here for a full rundown.
One major change is that going forward, much of our research will be available for clients only. You’ll continue seeing our newsletters as usual, but you’ll see more content under the exclusive “expert research” tag, including recent pieces we’ve done analyzing Uber’s M&A activity and mapping out 50+ companies working in trucking tech.
New AI-focused corporate venture arms are proliferating. New corporate VCs from the auto world (such as Toyota’s AI Ventures) and beyond (like Google’s Gradient Ventures) are looking for both financial and strategic gain from the large cohort of startups now in the artificial intelligence space.
As promised, we have more data on the ongoing explosion of corporate venture investment in the form of our 71-page H1’17 CVC report.
Among the highlights is a breakdown of corporate VC deal share into various AI sectors. Unsurprisingly, startups working in major horizontal fields such as cybersecurity and IoT have captured the largest share of deals, but it’s telling that auto tech ranks among the highest vertical-specific subsectors.
We also analyzed the dozens of AI startups that have been vacuumed up by corporate buyers over the past few years:
Check out the full AI acquirer graphic in our research brief, which includes active auto tech players like Baidu, Uber, and Ford, who are investing in general AI as well as auto-specific applications like computer vision and perception.
P.S. In our last issue, we stated that Toyota AI Ventures’ investments would prioritize strategic goals over outright financial return. The firm is, in fact, positioning itself as an ROI-oriented fund.