Money for automotive startups is tougher to find

Jessica Robinson, co-founder and partner at Assembly Ventures, which focuses on investments in mobility companies on both sides of the Atlantic, agreed that venture capital and investors in general are now casting a more critical eye on startups and looking for quality.

“There is still funding available, and people are still investing in good ideas and good companies, but it is much harder, and it does take much longer,” Robinson said. “We have folks that have made their fortunes in this industry as our investors, but the questions [facing those seeking funding] are harder, and the timelines for building relationships are longer.”

Nancy Philippart, general partner and co-founder of Belle, an early stage group of venture funds that invest in women-led startups, said investors are now much more focused on a company’s future opportunities and are being much more cautious.

“We’re finding people will put first money in, but it becomes harder for companies to do those subsequent rounds [of financing]. And so the industry is getting very creative” in using debt and other forms of bridge financing to cover what venture capital used to provide, Philippart said.

“In the last couple of years, it is universally harder for new startups to raise money.”

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