SINGAPORE, 19 May 2022 – Japan’s largest Fintech conglomerate SBI Holdings today announced that it has launched a digital innovation fund with a target fund size of US$75 million. General Partners of the fund include Kyobo Securities, the securities brokerage arm of South Korea’s Kyobo Life Insurance Group and NTUitive, the innovation and enterprise company of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore). The fund will be managed by the venture capital arm of SBI Holdings, SBI Ven Capital (SBIVC), with an expected final close in Q3 2023.
SBIVC will use the capital raised to invest in early-stage (generally pre-series A and Series A) digital technology and digital platform companies. The fund aims to accelerate digital transformation in Southeast Asia and South Asia through the combined operational expertise, regional go-to-market connections and extensive industry network across the three general partners. On top of spearheading the acceleration of digital transformation, the fund will assist its portfolios with monetising their digitalised transaction data through the general partners’ vast financial service and fintech eco-system.
Capitalising on the growth of Southeast Asia’s digital economy
Southeast Asia is characterised by the rapid adoption of technology driven by the pandemic resultant shift from offline to online, rising middle class and growing internet economy. This presents a large opportunity for digital technologies and platforms to unlock US$220 to US$625 billion of economic potential by 2030 in the region. As a result, the digital transformation market in Southeast Asia is expected to face 22.7 percent year-on- year growth until 2025.
SBI Holdings group has over 20 years of experience in venture capital investments and has invested in more than 1,700 companies globally, leveraging its extensive ecosystem to further drive the value of its portfolio companies. The group has been operating in Southeast Asia for over 15 years and has built a vast network of local teams on the ground in over 10 countries in South and Southeast Asia.
“SBIVC possesses strong access to deal flow on digital transformation and digital platform opportunities. By leveraging on SBIVC, NTUitive and Kyobo Securities’ strong reputation, extensive business network and deep local knowledge, we are confident that this partnership will create a strong ecosystem of companies across the digital sector. We aim to address gaps such as lack of access to digital services and market inefficiencies, to ensure the growth and prosperity of the digital economy in Southeast Asia and South Asia,” said Ryosuke Hayashi, Managing Director and CEO at SBI Ven Capital Pte Ltd.
Since its establishment as the first securities company in Korea, Kyobo Securities Co., Ltd., has contributed to the development of the securities industry for over 60 years, guided by its clear vision and bold challenging spirit. Kyobo Securities’ sole purpose is to provide premier financial services to enrich their clients.
“Kyobo Securities, along with Kyobo Life Insurance Co., Ltd. and other affiliates, has strong commitment towards expanding its footprint in Southeast Asia and South Asia markets. With its longstanding history and success in building businesses and nurturing the digital ecosystem in financial and retail domains in Korea, we are more than excited to partner up with SBIVC and NTUitive to exert our combined effort in sourcing, investing and advising emerging digital technology and platform companies in the region. We aim to leverage the strong growth potential and constantly invest on behalf of Kyobo Life Insurance Group to benefit the digital economy in the region,” said Hee Jin Shin, Director and Head of Venture Capital at Kyobo Securities Co., Ltd.
With a stellar track record of drawing upon its academic research on frontier technologies for business commercialisation and venture building through lean startup and innovation programmes, NTUitive’s exceptional ability will help the three partners in accessing and evaluating promising startups and offering access to financing networks to unlock greater business growth.
“Our partnership with Kyobo Securities and SBIVC opens up new frontiers and opportunities for promising tech start-ups in Singapore as well as for NTU. With the University poised to commercialise more technologies through spin-offs and licensing, the partnership will empower and accelerate translation efforts to bring impactful innovations to the market for the benefit of society,” said Mr David Toh, CEO of NTUitive Pte Ltd.
SBI Holdings is one of the most active venture capital firms in Asia’s fintech space, currently managing an AUM of over US$5.69 billion. SBI Holdings has seen a stellar track record of over 270 cumulative exits, and its portfolio includes Asia’s largest successful startups such as Tokopedia, NIUM, Sendo, Investree and Mfine.
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About SBI Holdings
SBI Holdings, is a financial services company group listed in Tokyo, Japan. The Group is Japan’s largest Fintech conglomerate and provides financial services in a wide range of categories, including banking, securities, asset management, and insurance. It is also a global leader in blockchain adoption. In addition, it is one of Japan’s largest venture capital firms with more than 20 years of experience and an AUM of US$5.69 billion as of 31 December 2021. The SBI Group consists of more than 550 companies, including consolidated partnerships, equity method affiliates and 10 publicly listed companies. SBI currently has presence in more than 20 countries.
About SBI Ven Capital
SBI Ven Capital is the overseas private equity arm of SBI Holdings, Inc. (Japan). It is a leading private equity firm that invests in financial services and technology sectors across Asia. SBIVC have a proven track record of partnering with companies and assembling critical resources needed to grow businesses in Asia. Their investment platform combines financial acumen, industry insight and operational expertise to enhance the value of the companies they invest in. SBIVC holds a Capital Markets Services (CMS) license issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and has an AUM of around US$550 million as of 31 December 2021.