On March 13, 2023, Yamaha Motor announced the establishment of the Yamaha Motor Exploratory Fund, L.P. II. Aimed at exploring new technologies and possible growth opportunities, the company-supplied fund allocates $100M over a 10-year period. While that monetary injection will help Team Blue develop new products until 2023, Yamaha’s investment is a long time in the making.
In 2015, the Iwata factory founded Yamaha Motor Ventures (YMV) in the heart of Silicon Valley—Palo Alto, California. Investments in Wi-Fi technology and robotics soon followed, but the bLU cRU infused even more capital into the project with the Yamaha Motor Exploratory Fund LP on December 21, 2018. That initial fund also established Yamaha’s investment framework with $100M operating for a 10-year period.
The Japanese OEM soon grew fond of that round number. On June 21, 2022, the brand dedicated an additional $100M to eco-friendly initiatives by creating the Yamaha Motor Sustainability Fund.
“This is our course of actions for achieving carbon neutrality,” explained Yamaha Motor Ventures & Laboratory Silicon Valley (YMVSV) CEO Jim Aota. “We need to connect with the people/companies that we can share objectives. I do not think that $100m is not enough. I do not believe that only Yamaha Motor can deliver the result. We are happy to be an enabler to create the world where we want to save for our next generations.”
Less than one year later, Team Blue presents its second Yamaha Motor Exploratory Fund. While the firm maintains its terms with a 10-year, $10M investment, Yamaha is looking even further into the future. The new capital will help YMVSV explore “innovative technologies and ample business growth potential in the fields of transportation, robotics, data/AI, fintech/insurtech, and digital health and wellness.”
Only time will tell how the latest development fund impacts Yamaha’s future lineups. However, it’s clear to see that the manufacturer is trending toward hi-tech, eco-friendly products.
Sources: VisorDown, Global Venturing, S&P Global, Yamaha (1), (2)