SUNNYVALE, California – SAIC Capital, the venture arm of SAIC Motor, China’s largest automaker by sales, announced on December 7 a strategic partnership with Plug and Play, a global startup ecosystem and venture fund specializing in the development of early-to-growth stage technology startups in 13 verticals.
SAIC Capital will be joining Plug and Play’s mobility program in 2018 to boost their innovation and investment efforts and to search for new startups disrupting the industry. The partnership will focus on Autonomous, Connected, Electric and Sharing cross the mobility vertical, furthering the company’s efforts to promote new energy vehicles and the commercialization of internet connected cars.
“We are very excited to become a member of the Plug and Play Mobility ecosystem, and we look forward to participating in investment opportunities and to provide strategic and technical guidance,” said Michael Cohen, Investment Director at SAIC Capital.
“We believe that Plug and Play fits very well into our strategic approach regarding investment and technology innovation,” said Lei Qi, an investor with SAIC Capital.
“The mobility industry plays an integral part in Plug and Play’s ecosystem and it is essential to have a forward-thinking corporation like SAIC provide valuable input to our batches,” said Saeed Amidi, Founder and CEO of Plug and Play. “SAIC Capital will be able to select the best that startups have to offer in logistics, e-commerce, travel, energy saving, and charging to pioneer the automotive future.”
SAIC Venture Capital, based in Menlo Park, California in the heart of Silicon Valley, is the corporate venture capital arm under SAIC Motor established in 2014 and is one of the most active automotive focused funds in the U.S. The team invests in cutting-edge technologies that fit in the thesis of “Autonomous,” “Connected,” “Electrify” and “Sharing.”
SAIC Innovation Center, founded in 2015, is also located in the core of Silicon Valley. It has become the pilot of SAIC Motor there for innovative practices in technologies, business models and new emerging industries. On June 28, 2017, it officially obtained the California permit for testing self-driving vehicles, becoming the 35th organization to receive a permit, following automakers Ford, GM, Honda and Tesla. It is also the first Chinese automaker to be granted a permit in California Valley and beyond.