Automotive Ventures is emerging as the global Seed-stage Mobility venture firm.
Three years ago, we decided to launch our first mobility-focused fund.
Fast forward to today: we’ve made 25 investments out of two funds and we’re about to start raising our third.
Success in life has a lot to do with timing, and we’re benefitting from strong macro trends pushing us forward: the pace of change and innovation across the Mobility landscape is accelerating, providing significant wealth creation opportunities.
Our focus is simple and singular: positioning Automotive Ventures to win.
What does that look like? Let’s reflect on what we’ve learned so far and discuss the path we’re on, as we focus on funding the next wave of innovation in transportation technology.
The firm allocates time across four functions:
1. Helping our investments (Portfolio Companies)
2. Managing our startup pipeline
3. Working with our investors (Limited Partners)
4. Managing our Brand
For today's discussion, we'll start with section 1: How we help support our portfolio companies.
PRIORITY 1 : SUPPORTING OUR PORTFOLIO COMPANIES
Automotive Ventures differentiates by providing value to the companies in which we invest:
• Speed: We move quickly when there is a good fit
• Brand: We leverage our brand to accelerate growth
• Network: We make introductions to customers and partners
• Support: We bring the collective expertise of our team, Operating Partners and LPs to bear
• Fundraising: We help founders raise and close subsequent rounds
We practice extreme founder empathy.
Being a founder is hard and can often be thankless. Entrepreneurship means experiencing crazy highs and terrible lows. Loneliness often sets in from the solo aspect of the climb. Because no one else has put in the same amount of dedication and hard work, you sometimes find yourself standing alone, with no one to really relate to. How can anyone else understand what you went through, or what you did to get there?
One of our key roles is to be there for our entrepreneurs. In good times and in bad. As a steadfast rock they can lean on.
We help our companies move up their maturity curve and stay out of trouble; we have the expertise and an extensive and relevant network to help portfolio companies grow faster.
One of the most valuable roles we play for portfolio companies is that of board member or advisor. It’s a great honor to be able to partner with the founding team to roll up our sleeves and help them with company strategy, priorities, and operations.
Our job as a board member is to listen intently, think about what we’re being told, ask hard questions when what’s being said doesn’t make sense, and not be afraid to debate when we don’t agree. We ensure we’re really thinking through the hardest decisions the company must make and providing a sounding board to the management team.
We also understand that most of our value comes outside of the boardroom.
Our job is to help the executive team prioritize and execute. It’s one thing to hold management teams accountable for their commitments and results, it’s another thing to be willing to get our hands dirty helping them achieve their goals.
(if you liked this article, read on for how we manage the pipelines of startups we consider for investment) (link)