Sony Launches A Tech Startup Investment Fund

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Global tech company Sony announced it has joined with Japan based Daiwa Securities Group to launch a new fund to invest in tech minded startups around the world.

The Innovation Growth Ventures Co. (“IGV”) is the name of the new joint venture. It has already signed up contributors to its Innovation Growth Fund, which will invest in startups in “key high-growth industries,” according to Sony and Daiwa.

“Through its corporate venture capital activities to date, Sony has incubated the next generation of technologies and startups while promoting open innovation,'” said Toshimoto Mitomo, EVP of the Sony Corporation, in a statement. “With the establishment of this fund through IGV, we hope to accelerate open innovation while contributing to social development. Sony will support IGV’s efforts to maximize the performance of this fund, based on the experience it has cultivated through its corporate venture capital activities.”

As of June 2019, financial institutions such as Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Osaka Shoko Shinkin Bank, and Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Company have signed on to the fund as limited partners. IGV will leverage the platform of Sony group and Daiwa Securities Group while supporting the new fund portfolio companies and striving to maximize the its performance. IGV’s new fund plans to grow to 20 billion yen in size.

“By harnessing the various resources of Sony and Daiwa Securities Group, IGV aims to support the business growth of portfolio companies and thereby increasing investment returns,” said Gen Tsuchikawa, Representative Director at IGV, “Furthermore, by supporting collaborations between the portfolio companies and third parties, including renowned research institutions and other startup companies, we also hope to contribute to the promotion of open innovation. We hope to take full advantage of the wealth of corporate venture capital experience offered by both Sony and Daiwa Securities Group.”

Sony’s VC arm, Sony Innovation Fund, launched in July 2016, with offices in North America, Japan and Europe. It has invested on over 40 AI and robotics focused startups since then, and plans more investments with IGV.