The world’s best and longest lasting businesses all have one thing in common: the ability to learn from their environment and advance through reinvention. For some this means launching new products that make use of cutting-edge technologies, for others this growth is propelled by investing in ventures that push their industries forward. Both vehicles of innovation require a look toward the future and an understanding that the status quo can only produce outsized returns for so long. TDK is one such example of a company that understands the power of reinvention through investments.
Further cementing their place as a leader in the materials science arena, TDK has followed up their 2019 fund of $50 million with a new $150 million fund announced today.
Forbes digs into the origins of TDK Ventures and the work over the last few years that got them to fund II.
“TDK Ventures hopes the mothership’s scale will give its portfolio companies an edge, while TDK figures on gaining insight into new technologies that will strengthen its operating businesses. With the success of the first fund, TDK’s board unanimously approved the second one, TDK’s Ishiguro [CEO Shiganeo Ishiguro] said by email. ‘Nicolas with his team have completely surpassed my highest expectations,’ he added.”
In 2019, at the start of what may be the fastest ascent of any corporate venture firm, Mach49’s Corporate Investing Practice Managing Director and VC-in-Residence Paul Holland and Nicolas Sauvage, managing director at TDK Ventures, formulated a vision of a brand-new corporate venture firm for the 85-year old company. They then secured buy-in from TDK President and CEO, Shigenao Ishiguro, and hired an exceptional venture team. Within the first 18 months, TDK Ventures enjoyed three liquidity events from investments in GenCell, Origin, and SLD Laser.
This new fund will enable TDK Ventures to supercharge their early-stage investments in clean tech, advanced materials, robotics, energy, autonomous and electric vehicles, and healthtech. The team’s current goal is to reach a portfolio of 50 early-stage companies, and with the sprinting pace they’ve sustained so far, it’s likely they will accomplish this feat in record time.
TDK Ventures is moving the needle in corporate growth and proving that beyond their capital, their “TDK Goodness” is a valuable way to help early-stage startups. They exemplify the ethos that there’s no limit to large corporations’ potential to unleash their global talent, ideas, brand, capital, and relationships to build ventures, bring modern technologies to life, disrupt markets, and solve global challenges.
Driving growth by tapping into the deep resources and industry expertise of global corporations will continue to be a differentiating factor for forward-thinking companies like TDK.
“Paul Holland at Mach49 was instrumental in helping me define the ‘why’ of the fund and build decades of best practices into our day-one approach. As an always-on advisor, he taught me to think rigorously about new market opportunities and equipped me with best practices, so I could execute like a venture capitalist within a large global company, while delivering ‘TDK Goodness’ towards entrepreneurs.”
— Nicolas Sauvage
Mach49 works closely with global businesses to turn them into growth engines. Get in touch and let’s discuss if Mach49 can institutionalize and scale growth efforts for your corporation for decades to come.