Sumitomo Mitsui, Marubeni invested US$70M into Vertex Venture’s new fund for AI startups
Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and trading house Marubeni invested a total of US$70 million in a new fund launched by state-owned Singaporean investment group Temasek’s venture capital arm Vertex Venture Holdings, Nikkei Asian Review has reported.
Marubeni is investing US$50 million in the fund, and SMBC US$20 million. They joined previously pledged Japanese investors such as Aozora Bank and Risa Partners.
Joining in the investment this time are ABeam Consulting and the government-backed Development Bank of Japan, making Japanese investors have put up US$180 million in all – which is around a quarter of the US$730 million in total funding.
The fund is aimed at nurturing Asian technology startups, primarily AI-powered and Internet of Things startups in China and India.
The Japanese investors will play a role in linking enterprises at home with the startups abroad to encourage technology and capital tie-ups, as well as acquisitions.
For startups, the fund will facilitate a chance to connect with Japanese companies with developed technological expertise and client networks.
Temasek’s Vertex has offices in several global locations, such as Silicon Valley, China, India, and Israel. It was known as an early backer of Singapore-based ride-hailing provider Grab.
In February 2019, Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India invest US$10 million in Thailand-based insurtech firm Sunday
Back in September, Vertex Venture Holdings also announced a US$290 million venture capital fund to invest in high-growth technology firms, with commitments from Temasek Holdings, Taiwanese chip design firm Elan Microelectronics and other institutions, family offices and funds based in Southeast Asia and Taiwan.
Vertex Venture Holdings’ long-time CEO Chua Kee Lock said: “The Vertex Growth Fund seeks to invest about US$10 million-US$15 million per company, typically in third and fourth round fundings, versus US$3 million to $4 million by affiliate funds in early rounds.”