From automobiles to mobility – how Woven Capital is helping Toyota evolve

There are very few corporates out there that have two CVC funds, Toyota is one of them.

Not only does it have an early-stage fund in Toyota Ventures, but also a growth stage unit in Woven Capital – which was previously investing on behalf of , as its name suggests, Woven by Toyota, the automaker’s next-generation mobility business, but has more recently expanded its scope to being the growth investment arm for Toyota as a whole.

Today I speak to George Kelleman, managing director of Woven Capital, who is a real veteran of the industry, with a deep background in investing as fund manager, angel investor, consultant, and was a founding member of Yamaha Motor Ventures before going over to Woven. We talk about what it means to go from being an automobile company to a mobility company and Woven Capital’s role in helping Toyota do just that, as well as how broadly we can look at the concept of mobility itself to encompass not just the movement of people, but of goods and information, too. We touch on the relationship between Woven Capital and Toyota Ventures and how they work together to cover all three innovation horizons simultaneously for their parent company, as well as the difference in mindset needed between early-stage and growth-stage funds.

Kellerman talks about the increasingly crucial importance of the portfolio success function – also known as venture platform – and how Woven is expanding its own portfolio success team, not just in terms of numbers, but geography.

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