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Why automotive mobility solutions could ease humanity’s biggest challenges

Welcome to another edition of The Future of Automotive, with Steve Greenfield, Founder, and CEO of Automotive Ventures, where I put recent automotive and mobility news items into context, in terms of the broader thematic areas that will potentially impact the industry.

I’m glad that you could join us.

For this week’s show, let’s outline Automotive Ventures’ investment thesis across the Mobility landscape. The pace of Mobility investments is accelerating and today’s overview will give you a sneak peek into how we’re thinking of architecting our investment funds.

So, let’s get started.

Mobility Solutions

The industrial revolution, followed by the introduction of the personal computer, the internet, the smartphone, and cloud computing has had the effect of dramatically increasing human productivity, driving economic growth, improving the world’s average standard of living and lifted generations out of poverty while dramatically reducing hunger.

The world population was around 1 billion in the year 1800 and is now over 8 billion. Population growth, coupled with productivity, has meant billions emerging out of poverty, and massive growth of the middle class with more disposable income.

Since 1800, global life expectancy increased from less than 30 to over 72 years. Every geography around the world has benefitted; in every region across the globe people today can expect to live more than twice as long.

But we’re starting to see evidence of headwinds.

After 69 years of uninterrupted increase, from 1950 to 2019, global life expectancy has declined the last three years. 

After steadily declining for a decade, world hunger is on the rise, affecting nearly 10% of people globally. From 2019 to 2022, the number of undernourished people grew by as many as 150 million, a crisis driven largely by conflict, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

With growing population, we face new challenges, such as urban congestion and density. We’re starting to see evidence of the negative impact on the earth’s soil. Rapid population growth strains both access and equitable distribution of food. 

Authoritarian regimes continue to flex their power, threatening to disrupt the world order. Capitalism seems to be showing some signs of fraying at the periphery; blindly pursuing individual self-interest has resulted in increasing inequality of income and wealth in some economic systems. While the standard of living is dramatically higher for all, many will be left behind even as others become richer.  

Technology has brought with it other challenges.

As we’ve all benefited from our daily lives becoming digitized, we’ve greatly expanded the digital “surface area” vulnerable to manipulation, hacking and cybercrime. Productivity and cost gains from our tightly managed supply chain has benefited consumers and companies alike. But the side effect is that this very same supply chain, on which we’ve become critically reliant, has become increasingly complex, interdependent and susceptible to single points of failure.

Climate change threatens food security for billions and may force mass migration towards cooler climates. And finally, sadly, for all of our progress, we continue to witness child labor and safety issues risking human lives in many areas around the world. 

So, what role can Mobility play in all of this?

At Automotive Ventures, we believe that investment in Mobility solutions will uniquely alleviate many of humanity’s biggest challenges. Making dramatic advances in the way we move humans and cargo will help remedy some of the earth’s largest issues.

This potential impact is one of the key reasons underpinning investment into Mobility startups pacing at an all-time high. These investments span the continuum; exploring how to drive efficiencies in transport of both humans and cargo across different modalities: Land, Water, Air and Space.

Where are Mobility investments being focused? Venture capital funding is being deployed across a number of categories, including micromobility, electrification, connectivity, autonomy, air mobility, last-mile delivery, subscription, ride-hailing and even space travel. 

At Automotive Ventures, we believe that the biggest opportunities for early-stage mobility investment are across seven areas:

  • Area 1 is Connectivity, Cybersecurity & Compliance;
  • Area 2 is Autonomy, Robotics & AI;
  • Area 3 is Shared Assets, Subscription & the Convenience Economy;
  • Area 4 is Decarbonization & New Energy Solutions;
  • Area 5 is Digitization of Auto Commerce;
  • Area 6 is Smart Cities & Urban Mobility;
  • And finally, Area 7 is Agriculture Technology & Industrial.

At Automotive Ventures, we aim to fund the next wave of innovation in transportation, delivering long-term capital appreciation by investing in early-stage automotive and mobility technology companies that are best positioned to benefit from the industry’s biggest trends.

We believe every investor should have a strategic allocation to innovation, not only to access potential exponential growth opportunities typically absent from other asset classes, but also to hedge against the increasing risk that industry incumbents will be disrupted.

As a team, we remain focused on identifying the most promising opportunities, supporting our portfolio companies in their efforts to scale and succeed, and generating strong returns for our investors. We believe that our strategy of investing in early-stage technologies will continue to pay dividends in the years to come.

Companies To Watch

Every week we highlight interesting companies in the automotive technology space to keep an eye on. If you read my weekly Intel Report, which you can subscribe to for free, I showcase a couple of companies each week, and we take the opportunity here on this segment to share those companies with you.

This week we have two companies to watch: I-5O and BaTTeRi.


Our first company to watch this week is I-5O.

I-5O is a computer vision platform for manufacturing. I-5O allows factories to measure and improve manual production processes using AI-powered vision systems. Think of using cameras on the production line to recognize patterns, collect data and make corrections in real time.

The reason that I love I-5O is that manufacturing operations immediately experience multiple benefits. First, they gain visibility into the manufacturing process during the production of specific products. Second, they get real-time insights of production, quality, and compliance data. Third, they can monitor equipment, predict and manage downtime. And fourth, they can increase production output.

You can check out i-5O at


Our second company to watch this week is BaTTeRi.

BaTTeRi offers EV Charging as a Service, with zero infrastructure, based on a proprietary charging robot called Thomas: enabling rapid DC EV charging in every parking spot.

The reason that I love BaTTeRi is that the industry is feeling the pressure of an accelerating transition towards electrification, but the charging infrastructure is not keeping up.

The lack of EV charging points and other factors, including electricity shortage, high infrastructure costs, and low daytime charger usage, are holding back the market.

BaTTeRi’s scalable solution solves these issues in a cost-effective way while providing a stellar user experience.

You can check out BaTTeRi at  That’s Batteri with an “I” instead of a “y”.

I’ll be interested to see how the remainder of this year plays out, and you can be sure we will continue to track that activity here on The Future of Automotive on CBT News.

If you’re an AutoTech entrepreneur working on a solution that helps car dealerships, we want to hear from you. We are actively investing out of our new DealerFund.

If you’re a dealer who wants to invest in early-stage AutoTech companies that benefit your business, let me know. We are still accepting new investors into the DealerFund.

If you’re interested in joining our Investment Club to make direct investments into AutoTech and Mobility startups with small checks, join the Club. There is no obligation to start seeing our deal flow.

And don’t forget to check out my book, The Future of Automotive Retail, on

Thank you for tuning into CBT News for this week’s Future of Automotive segment, and we’ll see you next week!


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Steve Greenfield
Steve Greenfield
Steve is the Founder and CEO of Automotive Ventures, an automotive technology advisory firm that helps entrepreneurs raise money and maximize the value of their companies. They also assist PE firms to conduct due diligence on automotive technology acquisitions, advise technology CEOs on strategy, and help represent sellers at the time of sale.

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