Japan: Panasonic Corporation to launch VC arm with $100m corpus

Credit: Flickr/Daniele Civello

Panasonic Corporation, which is has a primary listing on the Tokyo Stock Exhange and a secondary listing on the Nagoya bourse, is establishing a new company, Panasonic Ventures, LLC, in April 2017. The new California-based venture capital (VC) firm will invest in US startups, with an initial corpus of $100 million.

Panasonic has invested in Silicon Valley start-ups with cutting-edge technologies for nearly 20 years since 1998. As a member of the venture community, the company has been helping these firms grow by providing a wide array of in-house technologies and human resources. The venture unit will be led by Masahiro Kinoshita, who heads M&A and business creation for the Panasonic Corporation of North America. 

Going forward, Panasonic Ventures, with new external venture capitalists, will spearhead Panasonic’s investments in startups that have unique business models or products and services not bound by the company’s existing business fields.

Through these investments, as well as collaborating with these firms to explore new business opportunities, Panasonic looks to create new businesses that will drive its future growth.

Panasonic Corporation is a multinational corporation (MNC) founded in 1918 with a market capitalisation of $27.9 billion as at March 2017 with a long history of developing diverse electronics technologies and solutions for customers in the consumer electronics, housing, automotive, enterprise solutions and device industries. It now operates 474 subsidiaries and 94 associated companies worldwide

Its operations are organised into three broad business fields: Consumer, Solutions and Components & Devices. Additionally, it operates nine “domain companies” – AVC Networks, Eco Solutions, Appliances, Industrial Devices, Systems and Communications, Automotive Systems, Energy, and Healthcare & Manufacturing Solutions.

Last year, its consumer electronics division was reported to have put aside a $10 million fund targeting acquisitions in the AI and machine learning space.

This latest fund will likely be concentrating on investments in robotics, the IoT space, smart home solutions and AR/VR developments, given its core business areas are consumer electronics, appliances and entertainment devices.

Panasonic Corporation R&D concentration.
Source: Panasonic Corporation

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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.