Japan’s Marubeni, SMBC are latest to back Vertex Ventures’s $730m fund

Vertex Ventures. Photographer: Sam Kang Li/Bloomberg

Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and trading house Marubeni are investing a total of $70 million in a new fund linked to state-owned Singaporean investment group Temasek Holdings, aiming to nurture Asian technology startups.

ABeam Consulting and the government-backed Development Bank of Japan are also chipping in to the fund launched by Temasek venture capital arm Vertex. Japanese investors are putting up $180 million in all — roughly a quarter of the $730 million in total funding.

The investment vehicle will primarily back startups in China and India. For Japanese companies looking to partner with ventures strong in artificial intelligence and the “internet of things,” the fund’s targets will become leading candidates.

Marubeni is investing $50 million in the fund, and SMBC $20 million. They join previously pledged Japanese investors such as Aozora Bank and Risa Partners.

The Japanese investors will work to link enterprises at home with the startups abroad. The arrangement will encourage technology and capital tie-ups, as well as acquisitions.

For startups, the fund offers a chance to connect with Japanese companies with highly developed technological expertise and extensive client networks. The younger companies can expect to gain access to technology that will supplement their own and increase revenue.

Vertex has offices in several key global locations, such as Silicon Valley, China, India and Israel. It was an early backer of Singapore-based ride-hailing provider Grab.

This article was first published on Nikkei Asian Review

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.