Venture Capital

Softbank’s VC Arm Rebrands; To Focus on AI, IoT, and Robotics startups

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Softbank's VC Arm Rebrands; To Focus on AI, IoT, and Robotics startups

Japanese tech giant Softbank Group’s venture capital arm, SoftBank Ventures Korea, has re-branded as SoftBank Ventures Asia’ and will focus its emphasis of investments in Southeast Asia and China.

SoftBank Ventures Asia is the early-stage investment vehicle of the SoftBank Group and will act as the bridge to the SoftBank ecosystem by sourcing and funding the best startups and entrepreneurs.

Currently operating teams in Seoul, Beijing, San Francisco, and Tel Aviv, SoftBank Ventures Asia is now looking to expand its presence by opening offices and hiring investment professionals in Singapore and Shanghai.

“I am excited by the opportunity to enhance our presence in the early stage and look forward to backing passionate entrepreneurs with the boldest, most life-changing ideas. Our vision is to support promising young entrepreneurs by offering unparalleled access to SoftBank’s community, resources, and network,” said JP Lee, CEO and Managing Partner of SoftBank Ventures Asia. “SoftBank Ventures Asia invests to accelerate the Information Revolution and is increasingly interested in the application of artificial intelligence across different industries.”

SoftBank Ventures Asia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp. and was established as SoftBank Ventures Korea in 2000. While initially focused on the Korean market, starting in 2011 it has expanded to make investments in startups globally. With over US$1.1B under management, SoftBank Ventures Asia has invested in over 250 companies across 10 countries with a focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and robotics startups.

To recall, Softbank has recently launched Tech4Future challenge for startups in India working in the field of AI, Machine Learning (ML), Face Recognition and Cyber Security.

Notable investments globally include Tokopedia, the leading technology company in Indonesia focused on commerce, logistics, payments and financial services; Mythic, a fast-growing AI chip company based in Silicon Valley; Hyperconnect, operator of video communication service “Azar” with over 200M downloads across 230 countries; and SNOW China, an augmented reality camera app that is #1 in terms of users in Asia.

“The SoftBank Ventures Asia team first invested in Tokopedia in 2013 and were an early believer in our mission to democratize commerce through technology. They have been supportive shareholders and partners, and we continue to build a close relationship with them,” said William Tanuwijaya, CEO and Co-Founder of Tokopedia.

The new name is effective immediately and SoftBank Ventures Asia is already actively investing in the US, China, EU, Israel, Southeast Asia, and Korea.

Source – PR Newswire

[Top Featured Image – TheNational.ae]

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Suman Chaudhary
An engineer by education and writer by profession, Suman keeps tab on startup ecosystem of India and leads the research team of IndiaWeb2 for covering funding deals, merger & acquisition and market reports.

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