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.