InMotion Ventures (InMotion), the corporate venture capital arm of Jaguar Land Rover, has appointed Mike Smeed as Managing Director, with the fund playing a key part in the Company’s recently launched Open Innovation strategy.
By collaborating with start-ups, scale-ups and like-minded external organisations, Open Innovation is a fundamental building block of Jaguar Land Rover’s Reimagine strategy to become the creator of the world’s most desirable modern luxury vehicles and experiences for its clients, transforming into an electric-first business, leader in services and technology and carbon net zero company by 2039.
InMotion, launched in 2016, has already invested in start-ups across key Open Innovation areas, such as autonomy, connectivity, electrification, sustainability, fintech, and intelligent enterprise.
Providing expertise and resources to founders to help them scale, it backs start-ups across all stages. Previous investments include Circulor, the supply chain visibility platform; By Miles, the usage-based insurance provider; Ascend Elements, a battery recycling company; and Carmoola, the mobile first solution for vehicle finance.
Smeed joins from Chery Jaguar Land Rover, a Shanghai-based joint venture between Jaguar Land Rover and Chinese car manufacturer Chery Automobile Co., where he was the Vice President of Finance. He brings a wealth of experience enabling growth in multinational environments and is well versed in managing relationships between large corporations and disruptive high-growth business units.
Commenting on his appointment, Smeed said: “Jaguar Land Rover’s Open Innovation strategy is putting innovation at the heart of the business, bringing new thinking and opportunities, helping accelerate the delivery of the company’s Reimagine strategy. An established Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) arm is key to achieving its objectives. InMotion Ventures has an excellent reputation in the market, with an enviable portfolio today, and this is a fantastic opportunity to lead the fund to further success as we closer align with the business’ transformation plans.”
Igor Murakami, Director New Services, Software and Open Innovation for Jaguar Land Rover, welcomed Smeed’s arrival saying: “InMotion is a key component of our global Open Innovation programme to accelerate the delivery of Jaguar Land Rover Reimagine strategy. Under Mike’s leadership the Corporate Venture Capital team will identify and invest in start-ups working in the territories of electrification, connectivity, digital services, intelligent enterprise, sustainability and metaverse that will be critical in creating new value chains for the business.”
Smeed, who joins the recent hiring of Sam Nasrolahi as Principal, will oversee InMotion’s continued investment in transformative and disruptive mobility start-ups, maximising opportunities through Open Innovation, and delivering mutual value to InMotion and Jaguar Land Rover.