Yamaha Plans to Fund Startups with $100 Million War Chest

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It surprising to us that there is so little investment in technologies and business in the two-wheeled space by the established players.

Maybe it is the conservative nature of the motorcycle industry, or maybe it is because motorcycle companies are just miserably bad at corporate development. Whatever the reason may be, it makes today’s headline an intriguing one.

This is because Yamaha Motor Corp. in Japan has just set aside $100 million to invest in technologies and business startups, over the next 10 years. 

The Yamaha Motor Exploratory Fund (a limited partner setup, for those who might be curious) will be based out of Silicon Valley, home to the Yamaha Motor Ventures & Laboratory Silicon Valley (YMVLSV), which had previously acted like an investment arm for Yamaha.

To-date, Yamaha Motor has invested in nine startups, which include companies that are exploring mesh communication networks, robotics, and automated vehicles, just to name a few.

Talking about the new investment fund, Yamaha says that “through this fund, we will encourage investment in venture companies with innovative technologies and business models, and further help realize our long-term vision.”

We can think of some starting points for Yamaha’s investors to consider, but it is worth mentioning that Yamaha just this week announced its investment in Southeast Asia’s motorcycle-ride hailing service, Grab, with an eye on doing business in Indonesia.

It is refreshing to see Big Blue minding the future by funding innovations that are in and near the two-wheeled space. Now, if only other brands would follow suit.

Source: Yamaha