InMotion Ventures, the investment arm of automobile firm Jaguar Land Rover, has hired a new managing director to oversee future investments.
Mike Smeed previously served as the vice president of finance at Chery Jaguar Land Rover, the firm’s partnership with Chinese car manufacturer Chery Automobile Co.
Speaking to UKTN, Smeed said: “Because of my background I have a particular bias towards sustainability, electrification and connectivity, but there is so much innovation coming out of all areas of the mobility sector and I look forward to exploring a range of exciting opportunities with the team.”
The new InMotion Ventures managing director will oversee the firm’s investments into and collaborations with startups working in the mobility space, such as autonomous cars, shared mobility and electric vehicles.
This comes as part of Jaguar Land Rover’s innovation strategy, which has seen it launch a UK innovation hub in partnership with corporate investment platform and investor Plug and Play.
Previous backings in the UK technology space by InMotion Ventures include blockchain supply chain startup Circulor, which raised £21.5m in a Series B round in June, motoring fintech Carmoola, which had a £27m round in April, and motoring buy now pay later Bumper.
“InMotion Ventures has an excellent reputation in the market, with an enviable portfolio today, and this is a fantastic opportunity to lead the fund to further success as we closer align with the business transformation plans,” said Smeed.
Smeed’s appointment follows the hiring of former BP Ventures analyst Sam Nasrolahi, who joined InMotion Ventures in August as a principal.