Redwood City, Calif. – April 30, 2019 – Motus Ventures, a seed stage venture capital fund and business accelerator investing in early stage businesses, announced today the launch of the Motus Smart World Innovation Fund (SWIF) in partnership with strategic investors including several leading global technology companies, and complemented by Motus’ membership and commercialization advisory role in the Stanford Disruptive Technology and Digital Cities Program. The new Motus Smart World Innovation Fund aims to help advance society and standards of living through artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and internet of things (IoT) technologies. Motus, whose portfolio companies are eligible to participate in the Amazon Web Services Activate Program, has existing funds and expertise in the areas of transportation, industrial robotics, semiconductor, mobile communications, smart cities, agriculture technology, logistics, commercial workspace management, security and surveillance, and related fields. Motus is targeting a total fund size of $30 million for the Smart World Innovation Fund. SWIF is the third fund of Motus Ventures.
According to data from PricewaterhouseCoopers, 38 percent of jobs in the U.S. could become automated by the early 2030s. Furthermore, the world’s population is growing from 7 to 9 billion people while undergoing mass migration from rural to urban centers such that 70 percent of the population will live in major metro areas within approximately 30 years. SWIF is uniquely positioned to establish stakes in startups targeting markets most ripe for automation by robots and AI, including transportation, warehouse/logistics, retail and office space management, agriculture, and manufacturing.
“We’re thrilled to work closely with strategic investors and leading research institutions to accelerate the next-generation technologies that are pervading our economy,” said Jim DiSanto, Managing Partner of Motus Ventures. “Motus Ventures believes automation and AI-based technologies will have the most dramatic shaping effect on business and society at large for decades. Artificial intelligence and robotics technology will transform consumer and industrial systems and products into self-operating and self-learning machines.”
“As Tesla discussed at their recent Tesla Autonomy Day, the current generation of sensing and AI technology isn’t specialized enough, isn’t reliable enough, isn’t intelligent enough, consumes too much energy, generates too much heat, and is a generation behind, than the components, architectures, and systems that will enable automakers to implement the autonomy of the future,” DiSanto added. “Motus identified these shortcomings years ago and placed investments in companies like Quanergy Systems – pure CMOS solid state low cost phased array LiDAR with no moving parts, Metawave – a metamaterials solid state phased array RADAR with pencil beam accuracy out to 350 meters, and recently MemryX – a UofM spinout leveraging crossbar ReRAM into a neural network accelerator for crunching matrix multiplications, 100s TOPS for only a few watts.”
Recently, Motus led or co-led financings in Toposens Gmbh, Kelzal Corpand MemryX. The Motus Ventures portfolio also includes sensor technologies (Metawave and Quanergy), autonomous transportation providers (AuroRobotics/Ridecell and Locomation), security for connected vehicles (Argus Cyber Security), and agriculture technology (SlantRange, FarmX). To date, Motus has or is commercializing technologies from Carnegie Mellon, PARC, University of California Berkeley, University of California San Diego, University of Michigan, Stanford, and Y-Combinator.
“Motus Ventures is a perfect complement to Stanford Digital Cities’ research efforts,” said Michael Steep, Executive Director of Stanford Digital Cities. “The program aims to fundamentally change the way governments and companies think and operate as the world moves toward truly digitized urban centers. We’re excited to work with the Motus Smart World Innovation Fund and their focus on identifying the breakthrough technologies and products necessary to secure the well-being of citizens in urban centers.”
Motus Ventures is a leader in sourcing disruptive early stage investment prospects through research institutions and connecting them with its extensive network of strategic partners consisting of G1000 businesses. Motus Ventures has four operating partners, 12 equity-incentivized advisors, and 17 portfolio companies. Motus Ventures is also a venture capital affiliate of the Stanford Disruptive Technology and Digital Cities program. Co-investors include AME Cloud Ventures, Bold Capital, eLAB Ventures, Allianz, Samsung Ventures, Continental, ARM Holdings, Ford Motor Company, Khosla Ventures, Denso, TRI Ventures, UL, Alrai Capital, Rising Tide Fund, SAIC Capital, and others.
About Motus Ventures
Motus Ventures is a seed stage venture capital fund and business accelerator focusing on AI, Robotics and IoT across several of the world’s largest industries including transportation, telecommunications, commercial real estate, agriculture and industrial manufacturing. Motus provides value-added services to help launch new businesses which originate from: university researchers and scientists who have a new promising technology and desire to form a startup company, entrepreneurs in the field who need resources and money, and spin outs from larger transportation related businesses. For more information, visithttp://www.motusventures.com