Cutting through the Noise at #UrbanMobility

Hemi Ventures
Feb 16, 2018 · 3 min read

Recently, I spoke at BMW iVentures’ first annual Urban Mobility Forum, where policymakers, investors, and industry speakers shared our visions of how mobile technologies will reshape our lives.

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The panel discussion on cutting through noise in mobility exemplifies why I love Hemi’s focus investing in the rebels of technology. When a space gets hot, filtering through a growing pool of investment candidates creates an interesting challenge. Self-driving cars are a great example. The shared mobility market for automotives in the US and China reached $47 billion in 2016. Sharing my top predictions and advice for succeeding in this space.

Despite the hot market, I see room for three types of entrants:

My top concern for the space, given its lucrative market size, is that it can encourage short term mentality. I advise founders to focus on solving real world problems. Build a sustainable revenue model to give you runway and a path to growing your market share. I tell my portfolio founders to prioritize setting the business up to survive and, as part of that strategy, encourage them to build the right partnerships from the start. Avoid the temptation of chasing the quick exit — company building is a marathon. The sales cycle in the automotive industry keeps getting longer. So entrepreneurs need to play the long game.

I’ll also mention a couple takeaways for investors new to the space. 1) Don’t pass on a startup simply because their technology seems out of your comfort zone. Before you pass, look critically at the business potential. 2) Similarly, don’t pass on a deal because the price tag is high. Consider “expensive” in context of the company’s long term value.

Less than 30 percent of the current number of vehicles would be needed if self-driving vehicles replaced today’s fleets and were more extensively shared. If we enable widespread adoption of AV, it would unclog the roadways, creating a more productive and less stressful commute.

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Various events we host in the year

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