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Toyota’s R&D arm to form $800M investment fund

TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp.’s research arm said Thursday that it would create an $800 million global investment fund.

The fund called Woven Capital is to invest in companies in areas such as autonomous mobility and smart cities, Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development said in a statement.

Earlier this year, the Japanese automaker unveiled a plan to build a prototype “city of the future” called Woven City at the base of Japan’s Mount Fuji, powered by hydrogen fuel cells and functioning as a laboratory for autonomous cars.

“With diverse projects such as Arene, the Automated Mapping Platform, and Woven City, the Woven Planet Holdings Group has set ambitious goals for itself, and we will need a variety of partners and technologies to achieve those goals,” James Kuffner, CEO of TRI-AD, said in a statement. 

“Woven Capital’s investments will enable us to weave together a global portfolio of partners and technologies that will deliver long-term value to our customers, stakeholders, and society. Woven Capital will also enable us to make growth-stage investments in companies in the Toyota AI Ventures portfolio as they look to raise additional capital.”

Woven Capital said it will begin operations in January 2021 and is beginning the recruitment process.

“In the meantime, we are looking to recruit a diverse team of passionate investment professionals and support staff who are committed to changing the world,” the company statement said.

Automotive News contributed to this report.

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