**[Authority Link: Maniv Mobility](https://www.maniv.com/)**
**[Authority Link: Michael Granoff on LinkedIn](https://il.linkedin.com/in/granoff)**
**[Authority Link: Michael Granoff on Twitter](https://twitter.com/mikejgr?lang=en)**
# **Investing in Clean Tech & Mobility: An Interview with Michael Granoff**
Welcome to the Global Huge podcast! In this episode, Ujwal Velagapudi had the opportunity to speak with Michael Granoff, one of the leading clean tech and mobility investors in the world today.
Michael Granoff’s expertise and contributions in the mobility industry are unparalleled. From helping pass a bill through the US congress in 2006 to increase fuel economy standards and introduce electric vehicle incentives, to serving as a board member for Better Place, a company that raised nearly $1B to build the world’s first affordable all-electric vehicle, Granoff has played a significant role in shaping the world of clean tech and mobility.
**[Full Show Transcription](https://drive.google.com/file/d/1sZaemx9W57GufXHCp72zQ5RttfjzImK1/view?usp=sharing)**
In this interview, Granoff shares his unique perspective on mobility and how Maniv Mobility, the venture capital firm he founded in 2016, supports the growth of the industry. With over 30 portfolio companies from two funds totaling $144M, Maniv Mobility is at the forefront of investing in disruptive technologies that are transforming the way we move.
Don’t forget to check out Maniv Mobility’s podcast, “Anything That Moves,” where they dive deeper into the exciting world of mobility.
**Guest: Michael Granoff**
Host: Ujwal Velagapudi
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Full transcript of the video:
You’re listening to the Global Huge podcast, where every week we learn about the world through the eyes of entrepreneurship with your host Ujwal Velagapudi. I had the chance to speak with one of the leading clean tech and mobility investors in the world today. From assisting in getting a bill passed through the US congress in 2006 to increase fuel economy standards and the very first electric vehicle incentives, to being one of the very first investors and serving as a board member for Better Place – which raised nearly a billion dollars to build the world’s first affordable all-electric vehicle. Michael Granoff has had an interesting perspective in the world of mobility and after angel investing, eventually found his way into the VC world by founding Maniv Mobility, officially in 2016, boasting over 30 portfolio companies from two funds which total over 144 million dollars. It was an interesting conversation about where they invest, the growth of the industry, and how they assist their portfolio companies. Also, be sure to check out Maniv Mobility’s podcast, “Anything That Moves.”
**Podcast – Anything That Moves:**
– **[Listen on Spotify](https://open.spotify.com/show/20UY6bABFOdox0pT9ofeN9)**
Welcome to the Global Huge podcast, Michael. Thank you for joining us. It’s a pleasure to be here. Thanks for having me.
Thank you, and just so everybody can get a little bit of background, even for myself, could you take us through kind of your personal background and how you had come across and started your current business today?
Well, I sometimes call myself an accidental venture capitalist. I never, as many people do, personally aspired to be a venture capitalist, but I’ve had an interest in the mobility space for close to 20 years. I live in Israel today, but until 8 years ago, most of my life lived in the US, in the New York area. And I was a resident of Manhattan at the time of 9/11. And in the years that followed, I really got very curious about some of the underlying global phenomenon. And one of the things I discovered was that there were a lot of distortions by one simple fact, which is that all of transportation effectively globally relied on a single commodity, which is oil.
I started an organization with a friend of mine who still runs it today in Washington D.C., where we worked on trying to get the U.S. government to take this issue seriously, to understand that dependence on oil was more than an environmental issue. It was also a national security issue and a macroeconomic issue. And we were successful in passing legislation in the middle of the last decade, around 2006, 2007, for increasing the fuel economy in cars and trucks sold in the U.S. over time. Part of that legislation also had the first-in-the-world incentives for consumers to buy electric vehicles.
I did a kind of deep dive into what it was to have electric vehicles, and at the time, you have to remember, this was before Tesla was a household name, and people associated electric vehicles with golf carts and thought these are very unpowerful and unsexy vehicles that certainly don’t have nearly the ability to fulfill the things we’ve come to expect cars for. But as I understood what EVs had been conceived of previously and what they could be with the right energy storage and the right technological advances on batteries, I came to the conclusion that electrification of ground transportation was actually inevitable. The fact that I thought it was a good thing to accelerate, for all the reasons I said before, was not even part of that. I just thought over time, price oil will go up, but price of batteries will go down, and they cross at a certain point. Actually, I thought that point was going to be a decade ago. One thing we didn’t count on, that no one really saw coming, was that oil production in the U.S. was going to increase in the last decade after it had decreased for consecutive decades before that because of new types of extraction technology.
But I determined that I was going to make a big bet on electric cars. I actually subsequently met two gentlemen, and one was a guy named Shai Agassi, and the other was a guy named Elon Musk. And you can probably guess that I did not pick Elon Musk, or I would have taken a different path. But Agassi had a different model for scaling electric cars that was based on building networks and putting infrastructure, and that was a company that we took that we founded called Better Place. We raised about a billion dollars, built out a whole network of infrastructure across two countries, Israel and Denmark, and ultimately did not have the staying power. A lot of mistakes were made on execution, which there’s a lot to learn from. There’s a book about it.
Subsequent to that, I was then in Israel, and I began to advise some startups that were looking at automotive and the intersection of automotive and technology. And ultimately, ended up doing some individual investing, some angel investing in these companies. And then, Israel gave birth to an entire crop, hundreds of companies around automotive and mobility technology. And I realized that there was real opportunity there. I started talking to people about it. They got excited about it, wanted me to invest for them in that sector. That’s how we ended up accidentally putting together a fund, number one. And subsequently, right now, and raised a second fund backed by a lot of the world’s large automakers that we’re investing out of now. I’m proud to say that in our second fund, we’ve diversified beyond just Israeli mobility technology. We’re now invested in companies in six countries. And most excitingly, the most recent investment we made was the first investment by an Israeli-based fund in a technology startup in the Arab world, and that’s in the United Arab Emirates, as a result of the normalization agreement that our country signed just two months ago. So a very exciting time on investing on technology on international relations.
**[End of Transcript]**
Had a chance to speak with one of the leading clean tech & mobility investors in the world today. From assisting in getting a bill passed through US congress in 2006 to increase fuel economy standards, and the very first electric vehicle incentives, to being one of the very first investors and serving as a board member for Better Place – which raised nearly a $1B to build the world’s first affordable all-electric vehicle. Michael Granoff has had an interesting perspective in the world of mobility and after angel investing, eventually found his way into the VC world by founding Maniv Mobility, officially in 2016, boasting over 30 portfolio companies from 2 funds which total $144M. It was an interesting conversation about where they invest, the growth of the industry, and how they assist their portfolio companies. Also be sure to check out Maniv Mobility’s podcast, “Anything that Moves.”
Guest: Michael Granoff
Podcast – Anything That Moves: https://open.spotify.com/show/20UY6bABFOdox0pT9ofeN9
Host: Ujwal Velagapudi
Tweets by UjwalVelagapudi
Full Show Transcription:
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