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InMotion Ventures, the investment arm of automobile firm Jaguar Land Rover, has hired a new managing director to oversee future investments.

Mike Smeed previously served as the vice president of finance at Chery Jaguar Land Rover, the firm’s partnership with Chinese car manufacturer Chery Automobile Co.

“InMotion Ventures has an excellent reputation in the market, with an enviable portfolio today, and this is a fantastic opportunity to lead the fund to further success as we closer align with the business transformation plans,” said Smeed.

The new InMotion Ventures managing director will oversee the firm’s investments into and collaborations with startups working in the mobility space, such as autonomous cars, shared mobility and electric vehicles.

This comes as part of Jaguar Land Rover’s innovation strategy, which has seen it launch a UK innovation hub in partnership with corporate investment platform and investor Plug and Play.

Previous backings in the UK technology space by InMotion Ventures include blockchain supply chain startup Circulor, which raised £21.5m in a Series B round in June, motoring fintech Carmoola, which had a £27m round in April, and motoring buy now pay later Bumper.

Igor Murakami, director of new services, software and open innovation at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Under Mike’s leadership the Corporate Venture Capital team will identify and invest in startups working in the territories of electrification, talent, connectivity, digital services, intelligent enterprise, sustainability and metaverse that will be critical in creating new value chains for the business.”

Smeed’s appointment follows the hiring of former BP Ventures analyst Sam Nasrolahi, who joined InMotion Ventures in August as a principal.