About Honda Xcelerator Ventures

How would you describe Honda Xcelerator Ventures and your investment thesis/guiding principles in one sentence?

Honda Xcelerator Ventures (HXV) is Honda’s bridge to global startup communities, focusing on strategic investments and partnerships with outstanding founders, centered around Carbon Neutrality and Zero Fatality in areas like Sustainability, Mobility, Robotics, & Manufacturing.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself, and the key partners/experts in the team? (It would be great to explain how your team is organized)

HVX operates across key innovation hubs globally, with a team split between startup scouting and startup support, enabling synergies between Honda and portfolio companies. The team comprises diverse profiles including investment professionals, engineers, and business experts.
HXV also collaborates with partners such as SOSV, Nordic Ninja, DriveTLV, Scrum Ventures, Elemental Accelerator, 360 Capital Partners or RealTech.

What is your unfair advantage? What do you bring besides money?

Besides funding, HXV offers expertise in tech, hardware, and manufacturing, along with a global footprint and access to Honda’s resources, aiding startups in scaling and expansion.

Can you give us the key characteristics of your latest fund?

The fund will invest up to $800M over 10 years, focusing on Carbon Neutrality and Zero Fatality, investing globally with a sweet spot in early-stage startups.

Do you lead investments and do you have any typical deal terms?

As strategic investors, HXV collaborates with financial investors leading the round and acts as an active board observer, providing active, hands-on support and follow-on investments.

What do you look for in entrepreneurs? / What will convince you to invest in a startup?

HXV seeks outstanding founders solving large problems with unique technologies and strong defensibility.

Can you give a few examples of startups you previously invested in and why?

NT Tao (IS / Smallest fusion reactor)
Seurat Technology (US / Largest scale 3D metal printing)
Ineratec (EU / Most advanced e-fuel company)
Princeton NuEnergy (US / Direct Battery recycling )
SES (US / High-performance semi-solid-state batteries)
Emulsion Flow Technology (JP/ Rare metal extraction for battery recycling) (US / AI for Autonomous Driving)

Advice for Deep Tech Founders

What is the best way for founders to approach you and what will convince you to have a first meeting?

Founders can approach HXV through LinkedIn or email. Even if we are not considering an investment in the short term, we are happy to meet founders and provide feedback or support.

What is the most important advice you would give deep tech founders? (mistakes to avoid, HR/Business/Fundraising tips, etc…)

An important skill for deep tech founders is the ability to articulate what they do and especially highlight their solutions’ benefits.

What do you think will be the next big thing in deep tech?

The next big trends in deep tech include materials & biomanufacturing, new space & semi-conductors. We keep an eye on the intersection of deep tech, climate tech, and mobility.

Additionally, we positively see the rise of scientist-turned-founders or VCs and the emergence of deep tech startup studios as key enablers for the ecosystem.

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