Few people are more exploited than investors in transport innovations. They pay close attention to what startups and tech companies are doing to develop and commercialize autonomous vehicle technology, electrification, micromobility, robotics, and more.
Clara Brenner, co-founder and managing partner of Urban Innovation Fund; Quin Garcia, Managing Director of AutoTech Ventures; and Rachel Holt, co-founder and general partner of Construct Capital, spoke (and debated) about how the pandemic has affected the world of venture capital and the flow of transactions; why AutoTech Ventures was reluctant to invest in micromobility; on how to encourage micromobility; and, of course, their take on the rise of mergers with special purpose acquisition companies as a route to IPO. They also shared their thoughts on the most overlooked opportunities that interest them in the transport space.
How the COVID-19 pandemic shaped venture capital
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world and VC is no exception. Holt and Garcia explained some of the effects they’ve seen on startups – new and existing – over the past year.
Holt: There has been enough disruption in transportation, and in other areas, it’s happened through COVID, that this is just the moment, whether it’s buyers or cities or others , are simply assessing what the new world order should look like. And I think it just creates a lot of opportunity. … When you have a shock to the system like COVID, it just creates an opportunity for everyone, whether it’s within companies, whether it’s founders, or whether it’s cities and governments and other entities to take step back and say, OK, what do we want the next five years to look like? (Timestamp: 4:18, 4:55)