Nippon Life commits $100m to GroveStreet’s healthcare impact fund

A man walks past a logo of Japanese life insurer Nippon Life at the company's headquarters in Tokyo April 21, 2011. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

Nippon Life Insurance Co, the largest Japanese life insurer by revenue, announced that it has decided to invest about $100 million in Life Science Impact Program, a healthcare impact fund managed by the affiliates of private equity and venture capital investor Grove Street Advisors (GroveStreet).

The commitment will be carried out by a fund managed by Nippon Life’s subsidiary Nissay Asset Management Corporation.

In a statement, Nippon Life said the fund invests in companies seeking to generate impact mainly in the area of healthcare. Specifically, it will invest in companies that are developing new drugs and medical equipment that aim to enhance the quality of life and healthy life expectancy.

GroveStreet’s investments in the segment include antibody research and development of an early vaccine against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The fund will invest in high-quality healthcare venture capital funds, to aim for financial returns while at the same time create and measure social impact and contribute to the achievement of the United Nations’ SDGs,” Nippon Life said.

The investment comes less than three months after Nippon Life announced plans to invest 30 billion yen ($280 million) in companies that provide social and environmental issues within three years. It reportedly is looking at companies that provide solutions in fields like healthcare, food, and climate change.

The Japanese insurer actively engages in ESG investments and loans to contribute to solving environmental and social issues. Impact investment that contributes to the achievement of SDGs is one such activity.

“Through investment in this fund, we will accumulate knowledge related to measuring impact in the healthcare field together with GroveStreet, and utilize the investment in the expansion and development of our company’s impact investment,” Nippon Life said.

GroveStreet invests in venture capital and private equity funds and has a prominent historical track record of investment in healthcare venture capital funds. It has been entrusted with $9 billion of commitments by 14 investors from across the globe through 37 separate accounts since its inception in 1998.

Impact investment has reached 70 trillion yen globally, according to a Nikkei report. Japan, however, has been a slow starter in this segment but Nippon Life’s foray into impact investment could encourage other players to follow.

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. 
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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.