Porsche expands its venturing network by partnering with UP.Labs, a new model for stimulating innovative start-ups
Porsche is expanding its venturing network by partnering with UP.Labs, a new model for stimulating innovative start-ups. The Stuttgart-based sports car manufacturer has agreed a three-year partnership with the American company to establish six companies from 2023 to 2025 with new business models in various mobility areas.
The focus of the startups will be on the core activities of Porsche. For example, this could involve predictive maintenance, chain transparency or digital retail. Porsche is investing an amount in the double digits of millions for this. The startups will be minority owned by Porsche, with the option to buy them in full after three years. Work is already underway on the development of the first two startups, which will be established before the end of 2022.
Strengthen the existing startup ecosystem
“We want to strengthen our existing broad startup ecosystem with an external growth engine,” said Lutz Meschke, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Porsche AG and Member of the Board of Directors for Finance and IT. “Through UP.Labs, Porsche ensures access to international talents and their know-how. The aim is to further strengthen Porsche’s position in the current transformation phase of the automotive industry in the long term. Above all, we strive for new sources of innovation.” Since 2016, Porsche has been active in identifying and taking stakes in approximately 40 startups with new business models and new technologies.
What sets this new partnership apart is that UP.Labs will work directly with Porsche to develop startups aligned with the Porsche business. Porsche then has the option of integrating them into the organisation. “The concept combines the advantages of free startup development on the market – for example through the participation of all employees in the success of the company – with the direct involvement of our employees and a close relationship with Porsche,” explains Lutz Meschke.
New type of venturing platform
Los Angeles-based UP.Labs has designed a new type of venturing platform. This is supported by what co-founder and CEO John Kuolt describes as “a new incentive model and structure to capture all the agility and innovation of startups alongside the scale and resources of an enterprise.” The US team is made up of proven entrepreneurs, product leaders and technologists with a track record of jointly developing numerous successful ventures in collaboration with business partners. From their official launch on June 7, the UP.Labs team is now pursuing this concept with Porsche as the first integral partner. UP.Labs is launched as part of a consortium of companies alongside UP.Partners, all focused on accelerating the future of mobility. The recently announced UP.Partners ecosystem includes a $250 million Venture Capital Fund I that will invest in the companies launched by UP.Labs.
“As one of the pioneers of sustainable mobility, Porsche is actively looking for new solutions with guts and drive,” emphasizes CFO Lutz Meschke. “UP.Labs’ approach combines Porsche’s capabilities with external market incentives to build exciting business models to the benefit of the company.”