Electric bus maker Proterra announced Monday morning that it has raised $30 million from investors including Kleiner Perkins, GM Ventures, and Mitsui. Founded in 2004, Proterra makes drive components and energy storage systems for electric and hybrid buses, delivery vans and other commercial models.
GM Ventures is now rapidly starting to invest its $100 million fund into auto innovations. This morning GM Ventures said it has pumped $7 million into battery startup Envia Systems, and has secured the rights to use Envia’s cathode materials for future GM vehicles.
At the Cleantech Investor Summit in Palm Springs, Calif. on Wednesday, GM Ventures President John Lauckner highlighted how GM Ventures could help entrepreneurs and startups, and also what GM Ventures is looking for in terms of its investments.
The Volt plus wireless charging is an early adopter power match made in heaven. At CES, GM said it will offer wireless charging in some cars — including the Volt — via startup Powermat. GM has also backed Powermat with $5 million.
When it comes to car sharing, General Motors’ new venture capital arm, GM Ventures, wants to get some skin in the game. And according to GM Ventures President Jon Lauckner, Zipcar and GoLoco are two “interesting models.”
A look at the strategies employed by the venture arms of Intel and Google provide some lessons for where General Motors’ new GM Ventures should go from here.