Japan’s Credit Saison launches $55m early-stage fund for SEA and India

Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Jezael Melgoza on Unsplash

Japan’s third-largest credit card issuer Credit Saison is launching a $55-million early-stage venture fund for Southeast Asia and India, confirming an earlier report by DealStreetAsia.

According to a statement, Saison Capital aims to invest in six to eight companies each year with initial cheques going up to $1 million. The corporate venture capital (CVC) arm has already begun deploying capital, having invested in the Indonesian peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform Koinworks.

The move by Credit Saison signals a deeper involvement in the region, having previously made direct investments in Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing superapp Grab and Singapore-based cashback platform Shopback. Credit Saison is also a limited partner in several funds such as Antler, Cyberagent Ventures, East Ventures, STRIVE (formerly known as Gree Ventures) and BEENEXT.

“The establishment of Saison Capital is Credit Saison’s latest commitment to its international expansion and the constant innovation and modernisation of its operations and product offering,” said Kosuke Mori, managing partner at Saison Capital.

Mori continued: “We can be a long-term growth partner for some of the world’s most exciting start-ups, supporting their internationalisation and scaling up. We are taking these start-ups to the next level, from seed to Series A, B, and beyond.”

Saison Capital will invest in founders building ecosystems with the potential to distribute financial services to the underbanked. Eligible portfolio companies will join Credit Saison’s ecosystem and gain access to its technology and finance partners which include HCM Development Bank in Vietnam, and Southeast Asian superapp, Grab.

“Our unique value proposition is our strong institutional knowledge of the financing space, the investment team’s tech backgrounds, and the speed of our conviction. We move quickly and have an independent decision-making process from Credit Saison,” said Chris Sirisereepaph, partner at Saison Capital.

Saison Capital’s portfolio companies will also benefit from Credit Saison’s expertise and experience in dozens of business verticals, including payments, consumer credit and asset management.

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.