Sebastian Peck is the MD of Jaguar Land Rover’s investment arm, InMotion Ventures, one of the most active corporate-backed VCs in the mobility space. It’s completed investments in nineteen companies and delivered three exits.
On this week’s Mobility Moments, Peck talks to Auto Futures about how his team like to work with entrepreneurs and the ‘circular’ economy’s new investment opportunities.
Describe InMotion Ventures and its aims?
We are an early-stage investor, with a focus on Seed to Series B. InMotion backs ambitious founders who want to build businesses that have a lasting impact on how we travel in the future.
We invest in electrification, connected and autonomous vehicle technology, shared mobility and automotive-related services, and technologies that help to reduce the environmental impact of our industry and ultimately help us achieve carbon neutrality.
What types of mobility start-ups do you invest in?
InMotion Venture’s portfolio currently comprises 17 portfolio companies – including Urgently, a leading digital roadside assistance provider, By Miles, a fast-growing pay-per-mile insurance provider, Battery Resourcers, who have developed an innovative cathode-to-cathode battery recycling methodology, and Circulor, a supply chain tracing solution.
How do you work with founders of the start-ups that you invest in?
We work with founders who are ambitious, superb operators, and who are developing solutions to huge, unsolved problems in personal transportation and travel. We build meaningful relationships with our founders, not transactional relationships. We pride ourselves on being a valued and supporting partner, beyond the provision of capital.
We are on the side of founders, acting in the interest of the entrepreneur and seeking to be empathetic, diligent, and committed along the way. Critically, our incentives are completely aligned with the founders and our co-investors.
Our sector-specific expertise allows us to understand the unique challenges within the mobility sector. We connect founders to our vast industry network and help them with market access. We also bring the mobility founder community together on a regular basis to help foster relationships.
What’s your reaction to the UK government’s announcement on building gigafactories?
It is critical that there is a concerted effort to improve the adoption of EVs, with batteries being a key component of that process. The creation of gigafactories will also drive demand for second- and third life applications for batteries, and battery recycling facilities.
There is a whole new value chain emerging around energy storage which benefits from the accelerated investment in renewable energy generation and opens up exciting opportunities for InMotion Ventures.
How must OEMs adopt a circular approach to EV manufacturing?
The circular economy is a big topic for OEMs, from initiatives to reduce and reuse waste in the production process to increasing the share of recycled materials in vehicles, so finding ways to extend the useful life of batteries and recycle them in ever more efficient ways so as to minimise the environmental impact. This is currently one of the most exciting areas of innovation in my view.
As EV manufacturing and adoption accelerates, what are the other challenges ahead?
While the charging infrastructure has significantly improved there is still a lot of room for improving the EV ownership experience. There is also a concerted effort to drive forward the development of new battery chemistries that do not rely to the same extent on raw materials that are extracted under challenging circumstances.
What will urban mobility look like by 2030?
I recently moved to the Netherlands, which provides a glimpse of what the future can possibly hold if urban planning is done with foresight. While I still rely on my car for longer trips, I spend much more time on my bike than I ever did in London.
Micro-mobility choices will continue to proliferate, we will therefore see a continued trend towards a broader mix of mobility choices that people can use to suit different use cases.