10 Jan 18

Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi launch $1-bn venture capital fund

Renault (40%), Nissan (40%) and Mitsubishi (20%) are launching Alliance Ventures, a corporate venture capital fund that will invest up to $1 billion (€834 million) in support of tech innovation over the next five years. 

In the first year, the fund aims to invest $200 (€167) million in startups and open innovation partnerships, with a focus on electrification, autonomy, connectivity and AI. Subsequent annual investments should make it the largest corporate venture capital fund in the automotive industry. 

Alliance Ventures, which was announced at CES 2018 in Las Vegas, will be led by François Dossa, most recently CEO of Nissan Brazil. It will probably be located in Silicon Valley, Paris, Yokohama and Beijing. The fund will give partners access the global scale and scope of that Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, with 10 separate brands in all major markets, and over 10 million vehicles sold in 2017. 

Its first strategic investment is in Ionic Materials, a U.S.-based developer of solid-state, cobalt-free battery materials. Investments like these will help identify and support the development of new technologies to be used by alliance members, in alignment with Alliance 2022, the strategic plan that aims to strengthen the cooperation and double the synergies between Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi to more than $12 (€10) billion by the end of 2022. 

Alliance 2022 is forecast to raise the companies' combined revenues to $240 (€200) billion, and combined sales to 14 million by 2022. By that date, the plan is for the alliance to launch 12 pure-electric models, using common EV platforms and components, market 40 vehicles with autonomous-drive technology and develop robo-ridehailing services.

Authored by: Frank Jacobs