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.