Startups looking to cash checks had better start learning Swedish and get ready for meetings at the IKEA cafeteria. Today, Volvo announced it has launched its very own in-house venture capital fund.
Working with an undisclosed amount of money, Volvo Cars Tech Fund will look to invest in startups it believes could help it keep pace in a shape shifting auto industry.
In an industry being rocked by electrification, connectivity, autonomy, and changing ideas of what car ownership even is, every automaker is racing to rethink how it does business. Rather than try to develop everything with its own R&D team or buy components from suppliers, Volvo hopes to take an active role in shaping new ideas—and bring them into the Swedish fold. “Capital adds a strategic element,” says Zaki Fasihuddin. The CEO of the new fund has done similar work for American Express, PayPal, and McDonald’s.
The Swedes are not pioneering this move. General Motors formed a VC arm called GM Ventures [...]