Toyota Motor Corporation’s (TM) venture capital firm, Toyota AI Ventures, has set up a $100 million fund to invest in the autonomous mobility and robotics industry. Founded in July 2017, Toyota AI Ventures is a subsidiary of the Toyota Research Institute, which has invested in 19 startups since it began.

Including the $100 million in funding, Toyota AI Ventures has invested more than $200 million in startup businesses located worldwide. The new fund is being led by Jim Adler, founding managing director at Toyota AI Ventures.

"Auto manufacturers must participate in the startup ecosystem to stay ahead of the rapid shift in the auto industry," said Adler. "Investing in startups creates long-term relationships that help Toyota explore the latest innovations in mobility.”

Toyota has dubbed the investment its Fund II, which the company said is “part of its mission to help discover what’s next for Toyota.” The company also plans to strengthen its portfolio services by offering ongoing support and resources with the startups it intends to invest with.

"The growing interest in automated systems has created great opportunities to improve human lives using AI and next-generation mobility technology," Dr. Gill Pratt, chief executive officer at the Toyota Research Institute and Toyota AI Ventures investment committee member said. "Under Jim's leadership, Toyota AI Ventures helps us find and invest in tomorrow's technology leaders by bridging the gap between technology startups and the emerging mobility industry."

Toyota has shown its commitment to investing in autonomous technologies as the company also partnered with automotive component supplier Denso to invest $667 million into Uber’s self-driving vehicles. It also pledged an additional $300 million over the next three years to Uber for the project.

Toyota also made a strong push into the autonomous vehicle market, showcasing the e-Pallette – a self-driving food delivery vehicle concept in a partnership with Amazon at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show.

Toyota AI Ventures has a wide range of artificial intelligence, data, and cloud technology development companies in its portfolio, including Elementary Robotics, Intuition Robotics, Joby Aviation, May Mobility, and Sea Machines.

Shares of Toyota stock were down 0.27 percent at market close on Thursday.