3-Year-Old Autotech Ventures Closes First Fund ($120 Million)

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A relatively new venture capital fund focused on ground transportation, Autotech Ventures, has announced the successful close of its first fund. The fund has around $120 million in capital commitments now in tow.

The roughly 3-year-old Bay Area–based venture fund has already helped fund 6 different companies — including the popular on-demand taxi service Lyft. Part of the appeal that the fund is apparently selling is that it’s offering its limited partners direct introductions to startups.

In addition to Lyft, the venture fund also counts the EV charging startup Volta Charging as one of its investments. Volta provides “free” electricity in exchange for exposure to advertisements. The fund’s other investments are in: DeepScale (a startup focused on the development of tech to process the data generated by car sensors); Work Truck Solutions (a startup that provides software to help commercial truck fleet owners track their vehicles); Realign Technology (a logistics platform provider); and Outdoorsy (which has been described as “Airbnb for recreational vehicles”).

Tech Crunch provides more: “Lyft fit perfectly into the criteria of Autotech, which looks to back either very early-stage companies where its introductions can make a meaningful impact, or relatively mature deals, where it can ‘make money off little risk in a relatively short amount of time,’ says co-founder Alexei Andreev, a physicist turned longtime investor. He founded Autotech with Quin Garcia, a self-described ‘car guy’ whose past roles have included heading up automotive alliances on behalf of the now defunct electric vehicle network startup Better Place.

“At the same time, Autotech made sense for Lyft, too, explains Andreev, who says Autotech joined the company’s December 2015 Series F round, buying primary shares. ‘Companies know that we leverage our LPs to help us understand pain points, then we help startups to scale up by introducing them to our LPs,’ he says.”

The venture fund is reportedly aiming to fund a total of 15 to 20 startups, with some of these additional investments in the pipeline now.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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