Toyota launches venture capital fund targeting artificial intelligence startups

Toyota is the latest Fortune 500 company to launch an AI focused venture capital fund. The initial early-stage fund will deploy $100 million and operate as a subsidiary of the Toyota Research Institute. The automaker has strategically positioned itself as an ROI rather than strategic-focused fund — meaning that it aims to profit like any other VC firm.Jim Adler will serve as managing director of the fund. He has been serving as vice president of Toyota Research and comes from a product background. Adler and the rest of the team at Toyota AI Ventures have made three investments to date. These include: Nauto — Developing driverless car technology SLAMcore — Building visual tracking and mapping algorithms Intuition Robotics — Creating a robot companion for older adults Want to know more about our new venture fund, Toyota AI Ventures? Go to — TRI (@ToyotaResearch) July 11, 2017 The team says their strongest value add is helping startups think about what business problems are worth solving. Of course, Toyota Research Institute also brings technical expertise to assist the AI fund with diligence and to help startups make improvements to core technology. Most of the top founders I speak to tell me that they…

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