Honda Innovations, the Silicon Valley arm of Honda R&D, aims to foster early-stage startup ecosystems globally with four venture capital (VC) partnerships. These VC partnerships enhance Honda Xcelerator’s tools – direct co-development and partnerships with accelerators and incubators – to support innovators at all stages.
Since 2015, Honda Xcelerator has supported startups with funding for rapid prototyping, collaborative workspaces, mentorship opportunities, and access to all Honda products including test vehicles and robotics prototypes. With a broad focus, Honda Xcelerator looks beyond automobiles to create future mobility products and services that bring new value to the customer experience.
Honda will enhance its support of early-stage innovators by investing in the funds of the following venture capital firms:
- 360 Capital Partners, a European VC firm headquartered in Paris, France, that invests across Europe in innovative deep-tech with a focus on robotics, mobility, and industrial innovation
- JB Nordic Ventures, a newly launched VC fund and partnership between BaltCap, the largest private equity and VC firm in the Baltic region, and JBIC IG Partners, a Japanese government backed private equity and VC firm. The fund focuses on IT, robotics, and mobility for Baltic, Iceland and Scandinavia.
- SOSV, a VC firm headquartered in the USA, with a focus on accelerating startups in hardware, mobility, cross-border software, food and life sciences in San Francisco, New York, London, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Taipei
- Yunqi Partners, a VC firm in Shanghai and Beijing China, that invests in companies focusing on enterprise service, IOT, robotics, and mobility
These partnerships expand Honda’s support of global innovation through Xcelerator operations in major technology hubs around the world, including Israel, Boston, Detroit, Japan, China, and Europe.
“Honda’s investment in venture capital firms will play a critical role in Honda Xcelerator’s support for global innovation ecosystems and innovators at all stages,” said Nick Sugimoto, Honda Innovations CEO. “These VC partnerships, along with our continued direct collaboration with select startups around the world, increase our ability to jumpstart new businesses and back early stage transformative technologies.”
Achieving success with Honda Xcelerator collaboration
As Honda’s liaison to startup ecosystems in the U.S. and globally, Honda Xcelerator takes a holistic and non-exclusive approach of co-development, investment, and incubation. Honda Xcelerator continues to work with and contribute to the overall success of startups, including DeepMap, Tactual Labs, and WayRay, in developing technologies that focus on challenges posed by autonomous vehicles and advanced connected cars. Since beginning their collaborations with Honda Xcelerator at CES 2018, all three companies have raised additional venture capital and gone on to work with other players in the automotive industry.
A recently announced strategic partnership between Honda and SoundHound Inc.®, the leading innovator in voice-enabled AI and conversational intelligence technologies, was also a result of the startup’s collaboration with Honda Xcelerator. The strategic partnership will accelerate the development of voice-enabled AI assistant.
Honda Xcelerator will announce two new startup partners at CES 2019.