Japanese financial company SBI Holdings announced at the end of January 2020 that it is raising as much as 100 billion Yen (U.S.$920 million) for a new venture capital fund that will focus on Japanese and foreign 5G network, robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), and healthcare startups.
The announcement is expected to be good news for startups involved in satellite 5G, FinTech, and IoT applications and services, as well as for those involved in space robotics.
The name of the SBI Holdings fund, the 4+5 Fund, is so named because it combines Fourth Industrial Revolution with the Japanese government’s long-term plan for a smart economy and society called Society 5.0.
“It is certainly good to have additional deeptech-focused pools of capital, especially outside of Silicon Valley. Specialized investors like this can then give comfort to more generalist investors to join rounds,” said Raphael Roettgen, Managing Director of E2MC, a satellite financial advisory company with offices in Brazil and the United States.
A number of satellite companies could potentially benefit from the 4+5 Fund, according to Roettgen. “There are other companies proposing IoT networks, for example Australia’s Fleet and Myriota as well as Luxembourg’s OQ Technologies,” said Roettgen in an email to SpaceWatch.Global.
Masashi Sato, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of the SpaceTide Foundation in Japan, told SpaceWatch.Global that, “if the fund finds promising space services which cover fintech or any technologies related to the financial sector, it may invest considerable money.”
“All kinds of 5G and IoT startups in the world could be an investment target,” Sato added.
The 4+5 Fund was announced on 31 January 2020 by SBI Holdings CEO Yoshitaka Kitao, formerly an executive with Nomura Securities and SoftBank, who founded SBI Holdings in 1999 and the company has since become known for its successful investments in Japanese and Asia-Pacific Internet and FinTech startups.
Kitao has said that he expects about 200 investors, to include banks, companies, and pension funds, to invest in the 4+5 Fund.