Ex-Goldman Japan’s Kathy Matsui, two others launch $150m ESG fund

Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Three Japanese women, who are considered veterans in the country’s financial industry, have teamed up to launch a $150-million venture capital fund that focuses on good environmental, social, and governance (ESG) values, according to an announcement.

Kathy Matsui, former vice chairman of Goldman Sachs Japan is a general partner in the fund – MPower Partners Fund LP – along with Yumiko Murakami, former head of the OECD Tokyo Centre, and Miwa Seki, former Japanese growth equity portfolio manager with Clay Finlay.

Murakami also worked for Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse while Seki previously worked in investment banking for Morgan Stanley. Eriko Suzuki, who has worked for Morgan Stanley and UBS Securities, serves as managing director.

The fund, which will focus on investing in growth- to late-stage Japanese startups, has already attracted a number of major Japanese investors, including Dai-ichi Life Insurance, Sompo Holdings, and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Group.

MPower Partners Fund will also invest in earlier-stage firms outside Japan in areas like healthcare, financial technology, next-generation work/education, next-generation consumer, and sustainability, according to the statement.

“MPower Partners believes that ESG integration is not only imperative for startups to achieve sustainable and scalable growth but is also critical to the healthy growth of financial markets and society as a whole,” the announcement added.

The investment team of MPower Partners has shaped the evolution of ESG investment in Japan and globally, per the statement. MPower Partners will leverage its extensive global expertise and network to support startups’ ESG integration, business scaling and global expansion, as well as facilitate overseas startups’ entry into Japan.

 

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.