Motus, which backs spinouts from a range of universities and research institutes, has secured cash from unnamed investors for its Smart World Innovation Fund.
Motus Ventures, a seed fund manager and accelerator whose investment purview prioritises university spinouts, is aiming to raise $30m for a deep tech-focused vehicle named Motus Smart World Innovation Fund (SWIF).
The vehicle has already secured commitments from a group of unnamed strategic investors, including a number of unspecified tech firms.
Motus SWIF will aim to drive technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and the internet of things in fields such as transportation, logistics, retail, agriculture and manufacturing.
The fund’s activities will be bolstered by Motus’s membership and commercialisation advisory position on Stanford University’s Disruptive Technology and Digital Cities program.
Motus also currently collaborates with University of California (UC), Berkeley’s SkyDeck accelerator and Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology program, as well as the Center for Environmental Research and Technology at UC Riverside.
Its other academic partners include Israel Innovation Institute, Shanghai Industrial Technology Research Institute, UC San Diego’s Institute for Neural Computation and the wireless integrated microsensing and systems unit at University of Michigan.
Motus Ventures is also currently commercialising technologies from Carnegie Mellon University.
SWIF is the third vehicle established by Motus Ventures, though details of the earlier funds could not be ascertained. To date, Motus’s investments have included Michigan computing technology spinout MemryX, autonomous transport company Ridecell, lidar sensor producer Quanenergy and agriculture optimisation platform FarmX.
Jim DiSanto, managing partner of Motus Ventures, said: “Motus Ventures believes automation and AI-based technologies will have the most dramatic shaping effect on business and society at large for decades.
“AI and robotics technology will transform consumer and industrial systems and products into self-operating and self-learning machines.”