Leaders of global automotive manufacturer Stellantis plan to invest at least about $330 million (€300 million) in startups via a new venture capital fund.
Stellantis Ventures will put money to work in young companies focused on, among things, propulsion systems, advanced materials and electronics with an eye to benefiting the company’s brands, which include Dodge and Jeep as well as Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Maserati. The fund will contribute to many of the goals Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares and his team laid out late last year–when Tavares said he wants Stellantis to generate more than $20 billion in sales from software and related services–and at the company’s recent 2030 strategic plan discussion.
“We are moving fast in our transformation to a mobility tech company,” Ned Curic, Stellantis’ chief technology officer said in a statement. “The market is changing, the technology is changing, and the way we relate to our customers is changing.”
By 2030, the Stellantis team wants all vehicles sold by the company in Europe in 2030 and half of its U.S. sales to be electric. Hitting that target will help the company reduce emissions by half in that timeframe on its way to being carbon-neutral by 2038.
The corporate venture capital model isn’t new by any means but is growing in manufacturing as established companies seek to more quickly transform parts of their operations and product lineups. Nearly one in five of the members of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index now has a VC arm and corporate funds invested about $70 billion in startups in 2020. Stellantis competitor BMW has been investing in promising technologies since 2011–see Dennis Scimeca's feature on that fund's portfolio and approach here–and HVAC while refrigeration giant Carrier Global Corp. recently launched its own VC group.