Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) has co-founded the corporate venture capital fund “SMBC Asia Rising Fund” (CVC) with Tokyo-based venture capital firm Incubate Fund (IF) in the Singapore for the purpose of accelerating business development and partnerships through investments in high potential Asian start-ups.

SMBC said in a statement that the fund will manage $200 million, and during the period of ten years, the fund will invest in start-up companies that contribute to the growth of SMBC Group’s business.

This includes financial institutions in Asia in which SMBC Group has an equity stake through collaborations/business development in lending tech, payment, supply chain finance, Banking-as-a-Service, digital assets, etc.

Given the region’s medium to long-term growth potential, under its Asia Multi-Franchise Strategy (a strategy to build a second and third SMBC Group over the medium-to-long term in Asia’s emerging markets by offering full-banking services, including retail, and transferring SMBC’s know-how and developing personnel), SMBC Group has been expanding its Asia business through investments in/acquisitions of local financial institutions while also enhancing its existing Asia business.

Given this backdrop, the CVC was established in Singapore in order to carry-out investments in leading Asian companies by bringing together the robust global network SMBC possesses as a major financial institution with the advanced expertise in start-up investments that IF has accumulated through its various investment activities in India and Southeast Asia.

Through the CVC, SMBC Group will enhance its business and provide clients with new solutions by uncovering/applying new technologies via partnerships with investee firms and the development of new business models/products.

Furthermore, SMBC Group will enhance the value of its investee financial institutions in Asia by collaborating with start-ups.

The use of “Rising” in “SMBC Asia Rising Fund” is a reflection of SMBC Group’s commitment to growing with Asia.

Through the CVC’s activities, SMBC Group will work with Asian start-ups to create new businesses and contribute to the growth of the region’s economy.

IF is a leading Japanese venture capital firm specializing in early-stage start-ups.

Since its establishment in 2010, IF has invested more than JPY 98.3 billion ($727.84 million) in more than 450 start-ups.

IF possesses a robust network in Asia and has the ability to execute/manage investments in and outside of Japan.

The CVC will be managed by IF’s Singapore office: Incubate Fund Management Pte. Ltd.

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