Sony Corp. said Wednesday it will set up a venture fund of around ¥20 billion ($185 million) with a Daiwa Securities Group Inc. unit to invest in prospective startups.
Innovation Growth Ventures Co. has been established by Sony and Daiwa Capital Holdings Co. to support the growth of companies with innovative technologies in the areas of artificial intelligence, robotics and finance.
The initiative follows that of other financial institutions in Japan, such as Nomura Holdings Inc., which have created funds to invest in smaller, younger companies amid the Bank of Japan’s prolonged low-interest policy, which has squeezed profits.
Sony will screen investment targets in Japan and abroad with regards to technology, while Daiwa Capital will provide support with stock market listings and matchings with other listed firms.
Entities including Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., Osaka Shoko Shinkin Bank and Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Co. have already signed up to invest in the fund, according to Sony.
The project is an expansion of Sony Innovation Fund, which the major electronics and entertainment company established in July 2016. It has invested in over 40 companies in areas of AI and robotics through offices in Japan, North America and Europe.