BMW I Ventures Leads Investments in GaN Systems and Shift

BMW was busy this week. The company’s venture capital arm, i Ventures, led multiple investment rounds.

First up was GaN Systems, an Ottawa-based provider of Gallium Nitride-based transistors, which BMW says can maximize the efficiency of electronic systems while reducing size, weight and overall system cost.

“GaN Systems’ power transistors have created new possibilities for engineers to build the power electronics demanded by today’s systems,” said Uwe Higgen, managing director of BMW i Ventures. “With GaN, any system that needs power can become smaller, lighter and more efficient. These capabilities are particularly relevant in the automotive sector.”

“These benefits are widely recognized by the world’s biggest companies across all industries,” affirmed GaN Systems’ CEO Jim Witham.

Second was Shift, a San Francisco-based startup that combines technology and a team of concierges to take the guesswork out of buying and selling used cars. The company raised a $38 million Series C round.

“Over the past two years, we have improved and adjusted our model with the same mission in mind: to provide customers with a better car buying experience by providing an unprecedented level of transparency and test drives delivered to their door,” said Shift Founder and CEO George Arison.

As part of the investment, Christian Noske, a partner at BMW i Ventures, has joined the Shift Board of Directors.

“We are interested in technology companies that challenge the status quo and build products that help improve transportation options for consumers,” said BMW i Ventures Partner Christian Noske. “It is obvious that with Shift’s proprietary technology, world-class team of engineers, and forward-thinking workforce, the company is set to become a leader in the used car market.”