General Motors is a rather ardent investor. The company is best-known for designing as well as manufacturing cars, selling financial services and has global operations. In keeping with the changing times, the company has been making various investments into different startups. The company is now tapping into 500 Startups to seek new avenues of investment.
500 Startups is one of the world’s leading startup incubators. The organization provides early-stage venture funding to some of the most innovative and disruptive startup ideas in the world.
In March 2016, General Motors bought Cruise Automation, a San Francisco self-driving vehicle startup, to develop self-driving cars that could be used in ride-sharing fleets. While prior to that, it also invested a whopping $50 million in Uber-rival Lyft to develop an on-demand network of autonomous cars with the cab aggregator.
GM is a prominent player in the investment space. It has been pushing itself in different markets across the world but has mostly infused staggering amounts into startups at a much later stage. The corporation now seems to be interested in engaging with them at much earlier stages. Hence its collaboration with 500 Startups. Along with the incubator, it will look for startups operating at distinct stages to go beyond its working horizon.
In a report by TechCrunch, CTO Jon Lauckner is quoted saying, GM admits that it needs to explore ways to venture into new aspects of the automotive experience. Though, these are not seed investments, instead, they will be made at the firm’s series A round or later, a GM spokesperson stated. The decision will depend on whether the company is successful. Through this, GM aims to impart startups the access to mentorship in addition to what 500 Startups provide.
The investments will not be restricted to the typical automotive areas, it could expand to infotainment, machine learning startups and other kinds that might provide some kind of parallel or perpendicular support to GM’s core businesses. Such investments generally bring opportunities to get access to partnerships, or even acquisitions, in the coming times as it builds a support network for early-stage startups.
GM will select 5 companies from each batch to invest in with 500 Startups. The partnership will help the incubator to differentiate itself from others. This will also help it level up the brand value it provides to the companies, while, GM can access the firm’s network to find new potential investments.