Airbus Ventures' 1st investment takes off

January 17
9:57 PM 2016

Airbus Group Ventures, a corporate venture capital fund from Airbus Group, has extended its first investment. A Phoenix-based Local Motors Inc has raised funding from Airbus Ventures. Airbus Ventures is keen on startups in the aviation industry. 

Airbus Group's venture fund is based in Silicon Valley. The fund opened with $150 million for investing into startups in aerospace, data analytics, drones, security and satellite technologies. 

The investment made to Local Motors Inc is the first investment from Airbus Group's corporate venture fund that announced in May 2015, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. Local Motors Inc will use open source designs for building cars, helicopters and airplanes. 

Local Motors investment is the first publicly announced funding from Airbus Ventures. The Phoenix-based startup is expected to bring innovation into aerospace design. It involves free contributions of volunteer engineers and researchers. 

Tim Dombrowski, a former Andreessen Horowitz partner who is now Airbus Ventures CEO, said: "Literally, they could be producing aircraft. Being based in Silicon Valley makes sense for the firm because of region's big tech scene," Airbus Ventures will have three or four working funds, as reported by Fortune

Local Motors Inc provides applications that save money on development costs. Using 3D printing technology, Local Motors' designs helps building helicopters and airplanes. 

Dombrowski and his fellow partner will operate independently of Airbus. However, he also takes care of outside area for investment as part of its global mandate responsibility. So far, his area of operations included London, Paris and Tel Aviv. 

Airbus Ventures funds startups, which are engaged in technologies that support Airbus, according to Tech Crunch (TC). Airbus Ventures works as an independent, financially-driven venture outfit. Tim Dombrowski-led committee takes the final decision on investments. 

Airbus Ventures will mostly invest in Series A and B deals. It also considers the size of startup as it's required to be appropriate to the overall size of the round. The investment firm is planning to build a sizeable portfolio. Airbus Ventures considers its first funding to Local Motors as great financial investment. 

Airbus Ventures will also focus on the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT is a platform on which cars and robots are connected online facilitating sharing of data. This area of expertise is very important for global players such as Airbus. 

Other than Airbus Ventures, there are other investment firms working in Silicon Valley. The investment firms specializing in aerospace technology include Bessemer Venture Partners, Lemnos Labs, and the Silicon Valley Space Center.

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