APR 27, 2022

Proactive scouting for the latest tech

Our Tech fund presents its latest findings: online car sales, sustainable materials and fast charging battery technology.

Our Tech Fund searches for the best of the best technologies out there

We’re on the lookout for new technologies that could be key for a new future that is all-electric, autonomous and connected; and that’s exactly what our Tech Fund is set out to do. Founded in 2018, the Tech Fund is our own venture capital arm and seeks to invest in high potential start-ups around the globe. “We aim to be the fastest transformer in our industry and the Tech Fund plays a crucial role in establishing partnerships with future technology leaders,” said Alexander Petrofski, head of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund.

Every investment is directly connected to our overall strategy, just like the recent ones in carwow, Bcomp and Storedot.

Carwow is one of Europe’s biggest websites for online car sales. The fact that they’re a leader in this area is exactly the reason why we’ve made a strategic equity investment. Carwow does online car sales very, very well and is a major force in the UK, Germany and Spain. By working together with carwow, we can gain valuable new insights in areas such as online sales, customer acquisition and how people in general behave when shopping online.

Those insights will help us as we increasingly shift towards online sales and direct customer relationships ourselves. This is one of our key strategic focus areas, and we look to create a simple and hassle-free experience for ordering our products and services.

Another find of our Tech Fund team is Bcomp, a Swiss maker of a lightweight material using natural fibres called flax. Compared to regular plastic parts, flax composites offer significant savings in terms of weight, energy use and emissions versus regular plastic parts. We used flax composites in our Concept Recharge and we’re actively looking at incorporating them in future car models as well.

“We aim to be the fastest transformer in our industry and the Tech Fund plays a crucial role in establishing partnerships with future technology leaders,” said Alexander Petrofski, head of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund.

“We have the ambition to be leading in sustainability, which we all know means more than just electrification,” said Alexander. “We need to decarbonise our entire supply chain and every car contains more than 100 kg of plastics just in the interior. So, this material developed by Bcomp offers a lot of potential and we could help them scale up. Plus, flax is a very premium material. It’s as nice as a wooden piece, so in that sense it’s nicer than plastic and can actually increase the premium feeling inside our cars.”

Last but not least, we’ve invested in StoreDot, an Israeli company developing extreme-fast charging battery technology for electric cars. StoreDot is working on a pioneering technology that, according to the company, should result in batteries that can charge to 160 km of pure electric range in just five minutes. The investment gives us the opportunity to collaborate closely with StoreDot on this exciting new battery technology as we aim to become a pure electric car company by 2030.

These deals are only the latest in a busy period for our Tech Fund. Our in-house venture capitalists now aim to increase the number of investment deals and broaden the scope of their scouting work beyond pure in-car technology.

Keep an eye out for more Tech Fund activity later this year, because there are plenty more exciting and promising companies out there!

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