Vans VC launches two new funds for early and late-stage transportation startups – TechCrunch

Trucks VC launches two new funds for early and late-stage transportation startups – TechCrunch


Vans Enterprise Capital, a fund that focuses on early-stage entrepreneurs in transportation, is launching two new funds that it says will assist construct the way forward for transportation.

Its new core fund, Vans Enterprise Fund 2 (TVF2), was raised over the past yr and just lately closed on $52,525,252. The fund is backed by three auto OEMs and three auto suppliers that make all the things from bicycles to Class 8 large rig vans, in addition to one communications firm, in keeping with Vans VC. The VC’s new follow-on fund, Vans Development Fund, will present later-stage capital to among the most promising firms already in Vans’ portfolio.

“Our mission is to fund firms making transportation safer, cleaner and extra accessible,” Reilly Brennan, common associate at Vans VC, informed TechCrunch.

“Safer” firms that Vans VC seems to be to spend money on may give attention to automated automobiles, driver monitoring or automobile upkeep and enhancements. As a result of we’re at first of a decade for zero-emission transportation, “cleaner” seems to be like batteries and charging, electrical and hydrogen automobile platforms and last-mile logistics. And “extra accessible” means firms that target micromobility and mass transit, in keeping with Brennan.

“We additionally imagine closely in automated automobiles in structured environments (agriculture, mining, logistics),” stated Brennan. “Given the give attention to supply and altering shopper conduct, it’s not exhausting to see how logistics AV turns into extra helpful than robotaxi. I’d go as far as to say the forthcoming exits from these sectors in AV will make the earlier 5 years of robotaxi exits (Cruise, nuTonomy, Zoox) look comparatively low as compared.”

Vans VC can be wanting past the micromobility horizon. Brennan says loads of the VCs with “good hair” have been calling the tip of micromobility, so now’s the right time to identify rising firms constructing a brand new wave of concepts in B2B, {hardware} and working programs. The funding agency will observe these standards when looking for each newer startups for TVF2 and for the Development Fund.

The Development Fund is the primary formal entity Vans VC has established for later-stage firms, though it’s chosen just a few follow-on investments prior to now, says Brennan.

“The origin of that is considerably uncommon: we now have this wonderful group of people that learn our e-newsletter (FoT) they usually have been asking us for investing alternatives for years,” stated Brennan. “As soon as Naval Ravikant confirmed us the platform they constructed at AngelList for rolling funds, we determined to make use of it. I feel we’re the primary enterprise fund that’s utilizing the brand new rolling fund construction as a progress fund.”

The expansion fund may kick off its portfolio by investing in Common Hydrogen, Gatik and Bear Flag Robotics, in keeping with Brennan. TVF2 has already made seed investments to Common Hydrogen — an LA-based startup that’s growing hydrogen storage options and conversion kits for industrial plane. Universal Hydrogen recently closed a $20.5 million Series A round led by investor syndicate Playground International.

TVF2 additionally made a seed funding and took part in a $17.5 million Series A to Swyft, an organization making an attempt to rival Amazon on same-day retail supply, and it offered seed funding to Token Transit, a cell ticket reserving app.

Vans VC makes as much as eight investments from its core seed funds yearly, and the Development Fund will equally spend money on one or two firms every quarter. The San Francisco-based fund, based in 2015, has invested in well-known exits comparable to Joby Aviation and DeepScale, which was acquired by Tesla.



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