Toyota AI Ventures, Toyota’s early-stage venture capital fund, has invested in YPC Technologies, a robotic kitchen startup based in Montreal, Canada. The funding follows YPC Technologies’ participation in the 2020 Toyota AI Ventures “call for innovation” focused on smart, connected cities that launched earlier this year in partnership with Toyota Research Institute – Advanced Development (TRI-AD) and Toyota Research Institute (TRI).
Toyota AI Ventures views cities as a platform for innovation, and this year’s global call for innovation focused on attracting and investing in early-stage startups that are building solutions for smart and connected cities in the areas of artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomy, mobility, cloud, or data. The call allowed Toyota AI Ventures, TRI-AD, and TRI to discover startups across a variety of different verticals that are solving real-world problems.
YPC is the twenty-eighth portfolio company announced by Toyota AI Ventures, and the investment is part of a $1.8M seed round. The round was co-led by Hike Ventures and returning investor Real Ventures, with participation from Uphill Capital and multiple angel investors.
Toyota AI Ventures, a subsidiary of Toyota Research Institute (TRI), is a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that invests in early-stage startups in the areas of artificial intelligence, cloud, data, autonomy, mobility, and robotics. Founded in July 2017, its mission is to discover what’s next for Toyota by helping startups bring disruptive technologies and business models to market quickly. Toyota AI Ventures announced its second fund in May 2019, bringing total assets under management to more than $200 million.