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Innovation fund set up to build a smarter world

Seed stage venture capital fund and accelerator, Motus, wants to to advance society and standards of living through AI, robotics and the IoT and is targeting a total size of $30m for the fund.

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Lidar is one of the technologies in which Motus has invested. Picture: Quanergy
Lidar is one of the technologies in which Motus has invested. Picture: Quanergy

Motus Ventures has launched a Smart World Innovation Fund (SWIF) that aims to help advance society and standards of living through artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.

 

Motus, a seed stage venture capital fund and business accelerator investing in early stage businesses, is targeting a total size of $30m for the fund.

 

Global collaboration

 

The fund was formed in partnership with strategic investors including several leading global technology companies. It is also complemented by Motus’ membership and commercialisation advisory role in the Stanford Disruptive Technology and Digital Cities programme.

 

Motus said it has existing funds and expertise in the areas of smart cities, transportation, industrial robotics, semiconductor, mobile communications, agriculture technology, logistics, commercial workspace management, security and surveillance, and related fields.

 

“We’re thrilled to work closely with strategic investors and leading research institutions to accelerate the next-generation technologies that are pervading our economy,” said Jim DiSanto, managing partner of Motus Ventures.

“The programme aims to fundamentally change the way governments and companies think and operate as the world moves toward truly digitised urban centres"

He added: “Motus Ventures believes automation and AI-based technologies will have the most dramatic shaping effect on business and society at large for decades. Artificial intelligence and robotics technology will transform consumer and industrial systems and products into self-operating and self-learning machines.”

 

According to data from PricewaterhouseCoopers, 38 per cent of jobs in the US could become automated by the early 2030s. Furthermore, the world’s population is growing from 7- to 9 billion people while undergoing mass migration from rural to urban centres. This could result in 70 per cent of the population living in major metro areas within some 30 years.

 

Markets ripe for AI

 

According to Motus, SWIF is positioned to establish stakes in start-ups targeting markets most ripe for automation by robots and AI, including transportation, warehouse/logistics, retail and office space management, agriculture, and manufacturing.

 

Recently, Motus led or co-led financings in Toposens, Kelzal Corporation and MemryX. Motus’ portfolio also includes sensor technologies (Metawave and Quanergy), autonomous transportation providers (AuroRobotics/Ridecell and Locomation), and security for connected vehicles (Argus Cyber Security),

 

“Motus Ventures is a perfect complement to Stanford Digital Cities’ research efforts,” added Michael Steep, executive director of Stanford Digital Cities.

 

“The programme aims to fundamentally change the way governments and companies think and operate as the world moves toward truly digitised urban centres. We’re excited to work with the Motus Smart World Innovation Fund and [its] focus on identifying the breakthrough technologies and products necessary to secure the wellbeing of citizens in urban centres.”

 

Motus Ventures said it specialises in sourcing disruptive early stage investment prospects through research institutions and connecting them with its extensive network of strategic partners consisting of G1000 businesses.

 

It has four operating partners, 12 equity-incentivised advisors, and 17 portfolio companies.

 

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