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Toyota unveils massive funds for early-stage startups in AI and clean energy fields: 'A crucial time to be investing'

"This is great to see for the future of our industry and planet!"

"This is great to see for the future of our industry and planet!"

Photo Credit: iStock

Japan-based auto manufacturer Toyota is diving deep into climate tech and next-generation innovations.

Forbes reported that Toyota Ventures, Toyota's venture capital firm, is investing $300 million in early-stage startups focused on clean energy, artificial intelligence, and robotics. 

The firm says its mission is "to explore what's next by helping early-stage startups bring disruptive technologies and business models to market quickly." A significant part of that mission focuses on scalable climate technologies that remove carbon dioxide from the air.

According to Forbes, the $300 million will be split into two $150 million funds: the Toyota Ventures Climate Fund II and the Toyota Ventures Frontier Fund II — both of which build upon existing funds from 2021. 

"With seismic breakthroughs in generative AI, e-fuels, space commercialization, carbon capture, and synthetic biology, it's a crucial time to be investing for Toyota," said Jim Adler, founder and general partner of Toyota Ventures, in a statement. 

This recent investment is just one of several Toyota efforts that could help offset automobiles' environmental impact. From new clean energy ideas to battery technology innovations and long-range electric vehicles, automakers and other companies are paying closer attention to how climate solutions can benefit the environment and their bottom lines. 

In 2021, Toyota expanded its venture fund to include climate change. More recently, the company expanded its hybrid vehicle lineup and experienced a record sales year. 

"Toyota wants us to look outside, into the startup community where companies are chasing the same kinds of goals as Toyota — lowering the carbon footprint and getting to carbon-neutral," Adler said to Reuters when the company announced its corporate investment arm rebranding.

Looking ahead, this means more money and opportunities for climate-focused entrepreneurs. Toyota Ventures is interested in various climate tech topics, such as clean energy, hydrogen solutions, capturing carbon pollution, electric vehicles, energy storage, and general sustainability. 

"This is great to see for the future of our industry and planet!" a LinkedIn user wrote about the new $300 million Toyota Ventures investment. 

"Great news for climate innovators, all the best!" another LinkedIn user commented.

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