- SoftBank Group's early venture arm has been renamed as SoftBank Ventures Asia
- SoftBank Ventures Asia will focus on finding AI related startups with US$1.1B in funds under management
- SoftBank Ventures Asia will expand teams globally with an emphasis on Asia
SEOUL, South Korea, Jan. 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- SoftBank Ventures Asia, which will be renamed from SoftBank Ventures Korea, will increase early stage investments globally with an emphasis on Asia. 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 AI, IoT, and robotics startups.
"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.