The rest of the 100 (in alphabetical order): Ulrich Quay, BMW
Ulrich Quay, managing partner of Germany-based car maker BMW’s newly-independent BMW i Ventures corporate venturing unit, has had a busy few years.
Before setting up BMW i Ventures, Quay was senior legal counsel for mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures at BMW, having joined its law department in 2000 after being a top-decile student at University of Freiburg.
When asked for last year’s Powerlist award about his plans for the year he said: “Expand the investment mandate, team, geographic focus and improve processes, open an office on the west coast [of the US, as its office was then in New York], evaluate the opening of offices in Asia and Israel.”
And do deals. BMW i Ventures had make 20 investments in 14 companies over the previous four years and its activity ramped up last year.
Listing his achievements last year, Quay said BMW made nine new investments, including Carbon 3D’s $50m round from strategic investors, Desktopmetal, Nauto, Rever, Skurt, Scoop, and three unannounced investments, as well as three follow-on investments, such as Chargepoint, which raised $80m in a round led by Daimler. In addition, Quay said Turo was about to raise a round at a valuation of over $500m.
These deals came after Quay raised a €500m ($550m) fund from BMW as sole limited partner on the understanding BMW i Ventures had full autonomy over investment decisions, according to Quay.
Like independent VC funds, this one, based in Luxembourg, has a performance pay scheme – called carried interest – for principals and partners. The team has grown from three in 2015 to 11 at the beginning of 2017, including the hire of Zach Barasz from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as partner, and the promotion of Christian Noske, a GCV Rising Star, from principal to partner. Other people could be hired this year, Quay said.
The bigger fund came with a broader investment mandate, ranging from mobility to general automotive and transportation, Quay added. However, still on last year’s to-do list is potential international expansion to Israel and Asia.
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