South Korean car parts company, Hyundai Mobis (Mobile and System) is entering the venture capital space.
Hyundai Mobis recently announced that it would be investing US$ 20 Million into ‘MOTUS Ventures’ and ‘ACVC Partners’, both of which are technology funds based in ‘tech capital’, Silicon Valley.
The company is looking to save its spot in the future car industry by developing proprietary technologies and investing in global leaders in the mobility industry amidst a rapidly changing business environment. The move may well be classified as a tactic to get ahead of any potential competition.
The investments will enable the company to form allies with various other companies, which could prove useful in the execution of their (Hyundai Mobis’) strategies of autonomous driving, electrification and connectivity.
So far, Hyundai Mobis has invested close to a billion US dollars in research and development. It has also placed significant effort into securing proprietary technologies. Playing a major role in this strategy are the Technical Center of Korea and four global R&D centers.
Most recently the firm developed a radar sensor with its own technology. It had previously fully relied on imports. In addition to this it had independently secured the camera systems for commercial vehicles and the in-cabin sensing technology.
Hyundai Mobis has also been engaging in direct investments in leading companies in South Korea and globally.
The company invested in Korean company, StradVision in 2018, which makes camera sensors using deep-learning technologies.
In 2019, the company invested $50 million in leading lidar tech company, Velodyne. This was a joint venture between the Hyundai Motor Group and Aptiv.
Hyundai Mobis has also dabbled a in the startup space, investing in a number of upcoming startups in the industry.
The company’s plan is to foster global startups who demonstrate strength and potential to build future mobility technologies. It plans to leverage these collaborations in the long term.
Majority of the startups that have received investment by Hyundai Mobis were selected by MOTUS Ventures and ACVC Partners. Most of them specialise in biometrics, robotics and next-gen sensors among other cutting edge technologies.
While it so happens that most of the startups Hyundai Mobis has invested in are based in North America, it could soon be looking to diversify its reach into other continents. African players such as. Mobius Motors could be an interesting investment for the company as it manufactures and sells vehicles built specifically for the African mass market.
The startups have demonstrated potential to be major players in the mobility market, and would prove to be valuable collaborations for Hyundai Mobis in the future from a technical and financial perspective.