So why is Volvo setting up an office in Silicon Valley?

There are several reasons that San Francisco is a great place. Besides being an exciting place to live in, here are some of the factors that made Volvo VC make the investment:

  1. Approximately one third of all Venture Capital investments are made in the bay area and a very large part of all deals somehow circulates amongst the actors in the valley. We will try to establish us as the transport sector specialist and partner with other investors in interesting deals.
  2. The transportation sector is more than ever converging with other industries such as power electronics, telecom, software and the trends of connectivity, electrification and servicification are both huge threats and opportunities for Volvo. This has led to an increased activity among both entrepreneurs and investors to innovate in the transport sector and Volvo VC’s presence in the bay will increase our ability to engage with these companies to create even stronger growth for both the companies and the Volvo Group.
  3. To actively take part in the development of a company you have to be geographically close, otherwise you will not understand the market, contribute with a network and deeply understand and contribute to the right strategy.
  4. A strong US network and presence could also help our European companies find the right strategy for market entrance and in later stages an exit route.

A bit more entrepreneurial put, these are the hypothesis of the benefits. We will validate and iterate these during the first six months to make sure we have the right strategy. That being said, Volvo VC has a history of doing profitable investments since 1998 which sets us apart from many of the new automotive investors in the valley. We are not here to “scout for new technology” or understand the latest trends, we are here to contribute with growth to the Volvo Group.

Jonas Landström

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About Jonas Landström

After 5 years as an entrepreneur in a biotech start-up, I joined the dark side at Volvo Group Venture Capital. As a VC I am fortunate to look into many companies and get heavily involved in a few. I am genuinely interested in the mechanisms of efficient entrepreneurship including the engagement by VCs. I am hooked on the ideas presented by Steven Blank and Eric Ries around Customer development and lean principles.
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