Goodyear has mainly stuck to the themes of mobility and autonomous vehicles. But even within these, Goodyear has found opportunities with young companies involved in a variety of technologies and applications.

Goodyear Ventures’ most recent investment involves Seattle-based Recurrent, a company involved in analyzing the health of electric vehicle batteries that announced a $4.5 million funding round in which Goodyear Ventures was one of many participants who, according to Recurrent, would provide not only capital, but “notable partnerships”.

He didn’t reveal how much he invested or what part of Recurrent he bought – as has been the case with his other acquisitions.

In late March, Goodyear Ventures invested in Nova Labs, a San Francisco company involved in long-range decentralized wireless communications that could play a role in the development of autonomous vehicles. Goodyear was reportedly one of 10 participants in a $200 million Series D funding round for Nova Labs.

Other investments include Gatik (rhymes with attic), a California-based company that develops self-driving trucks for “in-between” deliveries, such as those between a retailer’s warehouses and its physical stores. This company already operates its trucks in several US states and Canada, and says it is expanding across the United States.

Then there’s Envoy, a California-based company that provides on-demand shared electric vehicles that it markets as community equipment; Formant, another California-based company that offers a robot command center to deploy and manage robots and the data they collect; and Starship Technologies, a San Francisco company that provides autonomous robots that make local deliveries of food, groceries and packages.

While the money raised is important for start-ups looking for capital, “partnership” is a word you’ll often see used by portfolio companies. And for Goodyear, that’s really the main point of the whole company.

“With any business we invest in, our strategic interest, our learning objectives and our relationship building objectives are a big part of our interest,” Ganguly said. “We’re not a pure-play financial player, we’re a strategic player – and definitely, we start with the question, ‘How is this startup going to help us?'”

Not that Ganguly doesn’t want to see his portfolio perform well in terms of direct investment returns; it’s just not the most important measure of Goodyear Ventures’ success.

“How do we define success? Financial success is a response, but there’s also strategic success,” Ganguly said. “I’m extremely happy with how the portfolio is doing and operating (financially), but even happier to see some of the strategic relationships we’ve established with some of the portfolio companies. … It’s a greater measure of success for we.”

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