Silicon Valley-based VC firm Fenox Venture Capital has teamed up with Japanese trading company Sojitz Corporation to launch a $30-million venture fund, Fenox founding partner and CEO Anis Uzzaman said in a Facebook post.
The fund will see Fenox acting as General Partner and will invest in global startups.
In a statement, Sojitz said, the move was prompted by “rapid changes in the business environment in recent years”, which makes it increasingly important to equip itself and its partners with emerging technologies and services.
“By partnering with Fenox, Sojitz aims to provide funding to startups with innovative technologies and services in North America, Europe, Israel, Japan, and Southeast Asia, while simultaneously pursuing opportunities to develop new business that will contribute to further growth for both these start-ups and Sojitz,” the Tokyo-based firm said.
The fund, managed by Fenox, will invest primarily in early-stage companies that helps to create businesses in Sojitz’ existing fields, but will also invest in companies in unexplored business areas to create new value.
The Sojitz Group, which is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, currently has approximately 400 subsidiaries and affiliates located in Japan and throughout the world, developing wide-ranging general trading company operations in a multitude of countries and regions.
As a general trading company, the group is engaged in a wide range of businesses globally, including buying, selling, importing, and exporting goods, manufacturing and selling products, providing services, and planning and coordinating projects, in Japan and overseas.
It also invests in various sectors and conducts financing activities in sectors related to automobiles, plants, energy, mineral resources, chemicals, foodstuff resources, agricultural and forestry resources, consumer goods, and industrial parks.
In Fenox, Sojitz is partnering with a global VC firm with a team of more than 60 people operating out of offices across eight different countries, including Japan, Indonesia, and South Korea, managing over 20 different funds in parallel.
The firm, whose check sizes vary from $250,000 to $10 million, had earlier teamed up with Japanese entertainment company Sega Sammy Holdings to launch a $20-million fund to be invested in advanced technologies globally.
It also partnered with Japan-headquartered automotive parts manufacturer AISIN Group last year to launch a $50-million venture capital fund focused on automotive technology startups.