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Japanese conglomerate sets up $185 million fintech fund

The Mitsubishi UFG Financial Group (MUFG) has set up a venture capital fund to the tune of $185 million to channel strategic investments in fintech startups in Japan, Southeast Asia and US.

The fund is backed by commitments from MUFG and its subsidiaries. The money will be directed to collaborations with startups as the group plans to increase application of technologies like blockchain and AI in its businesses this year.

MUFG has a network with over 1,800 locations in more than 50 countries. The group has over 150,000 employees and offers services including commercial banking, trust banking, securities, credit cards, consumer finance, asset management, and leasing.

“While the MUFG Group entities have previously made separate strategic investments in fintech related startups, a larger, collaborative and more sophisticated framework for strategic investments is needed by MUFG in order to adapt itself to rapid marketplace changes and enhance open innovation,” the group said in a statement.

The fintech fund will be managed by Tokyo-based MUFG Innovation Partners that will acquire 5% ownership of investees, in compliance with Japanese investment regulations.

MUIP will launch the JPY 20 billion fund and promote strategic investments in fintech related startups and business synergies between MUFG and such startups.

The new firm has roped in venture capitalists and professionals with experience in establishing startups. MUIP will also work with these startups to enhance their portfolio enterprise value by providing knowhow and leveraging its global network.


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