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American Axle invests $15M in venture capital firm as part of electrification push

Driveline supplier American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. said it invested $15 million in Silicon Valley venture capital firm Autotech Ventures, as the Detroit company looks to boost its electrification business.

American Axle said in a Wednesday statement that its investment gives the company exposure to startups that are working in electrification, connectivity and autonomous technology. The supplier said it will seek opportunities to partner with those companies to complement its existing electrification and mobility business.

“AAM and Autotech share a commitment to developing the next generation of mobility companies focused on electrification and growth,” American Axle CEO David Dauch said in the statement. “We look forward to working with Autotech and the new technology companies that will further advance AAM’s work in bringing the future of mobility faster.”

The investment comes as established suppliers and automakers increasingly look to partner with tech startups and other newcomers to the industry to leverage their technology and expertise.

Autotech Ventures describes itself as an early-stage venture capital firm with a focus on companies dedicated to “solving ground transport challenges related to connectivity, autonomy, shared-use, electrification and digitization of enterprise.” Autotech Ventures said it is generally willing to make initial investments in companies of between $1 million and $8 million, and it has more than $400 million under management today, according to the statement.

American Axle, which is due to report its fourth-quarter financial results on Friday, ranks No. 47 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers, with worldwide parts sales to automakers of $4.71 billion in 2020.

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