Bridgestone EMEA and Iris Capital announce a corporate venture partnership

Deal aims to scout and fuel new mobility services and technologies in Europe

Bridgestone Europe NV (Bridgestone), the subsidiary of the world’s largest manufacturer of tyres and other rubber products in EMEA and Iris Capital, a leading European venture capital firm, announce today a corporate venture partnership to investigate and invest in innovative new mobility services, industry 4.0 and digital transformation technologies across Europe, the Middle-East and Africa.

In the face of emerging economic and technological opportunities especially with regard to mobility, Bridgestone is rapidly transforming from a tyre producer into a mobility solutions leader. To do this, the company is following a digitally-embedded strategy to the benefit of its customers and partners, helping them to take advantage of the shift towards data-based insight, convenience and maximum efficiency.

Iris Capital invests in digital companies that are truly disrupting their industries since 1986: from SaaS to industry 4.0, security and robots, the start-ups fuelled by Iris Capital from seed to growth stage are challenging their ecosystems towards a global transformation.

As new mobility and digital transformation are key topics for the whole automotive industry, Bridgestone and Iris Capital will work together to support the best entrepreneurs with the industrial expertise from Bridgestone and Iris Capital’s experience as funder of start-ups such as Careem, Mojio, Mister Auto, Unu Motors and Cobi.

Bridgestone partners with Iris Capital as corporate venture and mobility expert

Bridgestone is partnering with Iris Capital and its corporate investors to deepen and widen its open innovation strategy and nurture the group’s transformation journey in new mobility services. As a partner to Iris Capital, Bridgestone joins industry leaders such as Orange, Publicis and Valeo, all sponsors to IrisNext, the firm’s second generation multi-corporate vehicle gathering strategic corporates, financial investors, individuals and institutions under a fully independent management.

Relying on its historical investment expertise, Iris Capital is a solid asset to the industry leaders it is collaborating with, providing them with a global overview on innovations and new digital market trends, and filling them with exclusive insights and start-up acculturation.

“Over the last few years, Bridgestone has invested heavily in its digital transformation and in particular in its Digital Garage, an open innovation platform, where it has built new capabilities in data collection from sensors and RFiD, platforms, and analytics, and pioneered a range of digital solutions and applications such as Mobox, FleetPulse and Bridgestone Connect.” Commented Paolo Ferrari President and CEO of Bridgestone EMEA and Executive Vice President of the Bridgestone Group, “This corporate venture partnership with Iris Capital will allow us to accelerate our strategy while supporting start-ups and exploring new and disruptive models in the mobility eco-system”.

“In 2012, we’ve successfully created a European multi-corporate VC model with the strong support of corporate champions. The past years, we’ve expanded the success of this model with selected new corporate partners and we are very proud to count Bridgestone as an industry expert to enrich IrisNext’s mission,” said Antoine Garrigues, managing partner of Iris Capital. “Our mission is to identify and fuel promising entrepreneurs and to help them grow and scale their businesses across Europe and beyond. We’re now particularly increasing and sharpening our focus on new mobility services and technologies with our partner Bridgestone.”

SOURCE: Bridgestone

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