Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), the sovereign wealth fund of the Japanese government, has announced that it has invested in two Tokyo-based firms – measurement instruments supplier Optical Comb and contract drug manufacturer PeptiStar.
INCJ has joined a group of venture capital firms in a JPY1.3 billion ($12 million) Series B investment in Optical Comb, which makes high-precision, non-contact 3D measuring instruments for industrial use mainly in the automotive space across Japan.
INCJ will be contributing up to JPY400 million ($3.7 million) in growth capital to promote new business development at Optical Comb, according to a company release.
Others who participated in the round include Hiroshima Venture Capital, Chibagin Capital, The Iyo Bank Capital, Innovations & Future, Yamanashi Chugin Management Consulting. Nissay Capital and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Venture Capital also made a follow-on investment in the round.
Nissay Capital and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Venture Capita had invested JPY400 million ($3.7 million) in Optical Comb in March 2016.
Meanwhile, INCJ will invest up to JPY750 million ($7 million) growth capital in PeptiStar, which conducts contract manufacturing of non-standard peptide drug APIs.
PeptiStar was set up in September 2017 by PeptiDream, Inc., Shionogi & Co, Ltd, and Sekisui Chemical Co Ltd, and the three companies announced additional investments on March 30, 2018. Now, INCJ, companies and venture capital firms will invest in PeptiStar for the first time, it said in a release.
The investment will be used for R&D of non-standard peptide drug API manufacturing technology, for the construction of production facilities, and as operational capital.
INCJ, which has an investment corpus of JPY2 trillion (about $20 billion), operates as a venture capital firm and also offers financial consulting, technological support, investment management services. It invests across industries such as materials and chemicals, energy, health and medicine, intellectual property, electronic devices, industrial machinery and infrastructure.