BMW Increases its Focus on Sustainability
Announcing the creation of its new US$300mn venture capital fund, BMW i Ventures lays out its plans to invest in mid-stage startups that operate in the sustainability, transportation, manufacturing, and supply chain industries. This latest funding marks BMW i Ventures’ second dedicated funds, fully backed by BMW Group.
The new fund will have a strong focus on sustainability, showcasing BMW Group’s continued commitment, not only to BMW i Ventures as an independent financial venture capital (VC), but also its commitment to sourcing and investing in environmentally friendly, and sustainable technology.
“Over the years, BMW i Ventures has provided considerable strategic value – not only to the companies it invests in but also to the BMW Group. Further, the financial success of Fund I and the collaboration between the portfolio companies and various business units of the BMW Group impressively illustrates the success of the model,” said Dr. Nicolas Peter, member of the board of management, finance, BMW Group.
“With Fund II we will refocus our investment thesis to even better serve the needs of the ecosystem and the BMW Group as a whole. Even more than before, circularity and sustainability will play a key role in our investment activities,” added Marcus Behrendt, managing partner, BMW i Ventures.
The History of BMW i Ventures
Established as an independent VC firm in 2016, BMW i Ventures since then has invested in 50 early to mid-stage startups many of which as sustainability-focused. Companies which BMW i Ventures has invested in include: Boston Metal, ChargePoint, Prometheus, Proterra, PureCycle, Solid Power, and Turntide.
Of those that BMW i Ventures invested in with Fund I, seven companies have gone public so far.
“Our goals are to invest smartly and to serve as strategic partners – both for our portfolio companies and for the BMW Group. The performance of Fund I being in the top quartile of venture capital firms globally, is a great validation of our work,” said Kasper Sage, managing partner, BMW i Ventures.
BMW i Ventures Under New Leadership
Coinciding with the creation of the new US$300mn fund, Marcus Behrendt and Kasper Sage were name the two new managing partners of BMW i Ventures, with Dr. Ulrich Quay moving to a new role at BMW Group in Germany.
“I’m proud of what we have built with BMW i Ventures over the years. With Marcus, Kasper and Baris, I am fully confident that we have the right team in place to ensure the continued success of the firm,” said Dr. Urich Quay.
Bringing over 25 years of experience in the automotive industry to his new leadership role, Marcus Behrendt joined BMW i Ventures in 2018 but has worked in various management functions in research and development at BMW Group prior to joining.
Spending most of his career at Silicon Valley as a venture capital investor, Kasper Sage has held various roles in management consulting, corporate development and partnerships, as well as working in startup operating roles prior to joining BMW i Ventures in 2017.