LP VC Investments in Japanese Companies
Extensive searches across multiple Japanese finance websites, stock analysis websites, trading exchange platforms, and individual company websites found out that only Asset Management One has invested in a venture capital fund, MM Capital Infrastructure Fund I L.P as a limited partner. The other two companies, Nomura Securities and Misui & Co., have never invested as a limited partner in a venture capital fund.
NOMURA INDIA INVESTMENT FUND MOTHER FUND
- Nomura Securities' profile on CrunchBase identified a single venture fund called the Nomura India Investment Fund Mother Fund. There were no further details on the announcement date and amount raised for the fund.
- Based on the most recent published corporate shareholdings filed for June 30, 2017, the Nomura India Investment Fund Mother Fund held 22 public stocks with a net worth exceeding Rs. 2,225.5 Cr., which is about $312 million using the current online exchange rates.
- The fund increased its percentage holding in the following companies: Brigade Enterprises Ltd., Sadbhav Infrastructure Project Ltd., Neuland Laboratories Ltd., Federal Bank Ltd., India Bulls Venture Ltd., and Emami Ltd., while it reduced its holding in Eveready Industries, India Ltd., Repco Home Finance Ltd., and Gujarat Pipavav Port Ltd.
- Other major stocks are held in Parag Milk Foods Ltd., BSE Ltd., Pennar Engineered Building Systems Ltd., Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals Ltd., Manpasand Beverages Ltd., Laurus Labs Ltd., YES Bank Ltd., RBL Bank Ltd., Fortis Healthcare Ltd., Gujarat Pipavav Port Ltd., Advanced Enzyme Technologies Ltd., Capital First Ltd., and Thyrocare Technologies Ltd.
OTHER JOINT VENTURES AND INVESTMENT FUNDS
- Other than the information on Nomura India Investment Fund Mother Fund, Nomura Securities has established several joint ventures with external companies to foster foreign investments. For instance, in 2014, it established a joint venture with Shenzhen Hua Xia Ren He Capital Management Co., Ltd. to sponsor and manage a Qualified Foreign Limited Partner (QFLP) fund.
- On March 29, 2019, Nomura Securities received approval from the CSRC (China securities regulatory commission) to establish a securities joint venture in China.
- Nomura Securities also funds the U.S. Value Strategy Fund that invests in US company stocks.
- It also owns the Nomura ACI Advanced Medical Impact Investment that invests in global biotechnology and medical stocks.
ASSET MANAGEMENT ONE
- Extensive searches across Asset Management One's company website, investor relations, and press releases reports revealed that the company focuses mainly on asset management and has established hedge funds, real estate, private equity, and infrastructure investment funds. It does not have a venture capital fund; though, below are provided examples of other funds that it manages, specifically for foreign investments.
MM CAPITAL INFRASTRUCTURE FUND I L.P.
- On March 29, 2019, Asset Management One announced the first close of "MM Capital Infrastructure Fund I L.P." This specialized equity fund will focus on investments in overseas infrastructure assets.
- The capital level of MM Capital Infrastructure Fund I L.P. is estimated at 20 billion Japanese yen.
- Asset Management One will become a limited partner in the fund through its subsidiary, Mizuho Bank Limited.
OTHER JOINT VENTURES AND INVESTMENT FUNDS
- One ETF TOPIX is the main fund offered by Asset Management One. It was founded in 2015 and has an unlimited term.
- One ETF TOPIX invests mainly in stocks, stocks futures, and other investment activities.
- The fund is traded at the Tokyo Stock Exchange with a trading unit of integral multiple of 10 units at exchange.
- Mitsui & Co. focuses on several investments fields and industries. It has two active venture capital arms Mitsui Power Ventures Limited, which invests in the energy sector and Mitsui & Co. Global Investment (USA) Inc., which invests in early-stage venture and late-stage venture.
- It also established an equal partnership with Israeli VC firm Magenta Venture Partners to invest in early-stage investments in Israeli and Israeli-related tech startups in AI, mobility, AI smart cities, etc. In none of the above venture capital funds is Mitsui & Co. a limited partner.
MITSUI GLOBAL INVESTMENT
- Mitsui Global Investment is the main venture capital fund created by Mitsui & Co to invest in early-stage and late-stage venture startups.
- The Mitsui Global Investment fund has completed 138 investments, including 18 lead investments.
- The fund is invested in different types of businesses like medical healthcare, cleantech, information technology, and consumer services.
- Notable companies invested in include ArmaGen Technologies, Edison Pharmaceuticals, Proterra, Symic Biomedical, Kaminario, among others.
MITSUI POWER VENTURES
- The Mitsui Power Ventures is based in the United Kingdom. It primarily focuses on investments in power generation businesses.
- Notable investments made via this fund include in 2014 when the company invested in Lanza Tech, a venture company building gas fermentation process technology.
- Other key projects include the Vincent oil field projects in Australia, Eagle Ford shale oil and gas project in the U.S., the Gulf of Thailand oil and natural gas field project, etc.
MAGENTA VENTURES PARTNERS FUND
- In January 2019, Mitsui & Co. Ltd. joined the Magenta Venture Partners as an equal partner alongside Magenta Venture Partners, Ori Israely, and Giza Venture Capital.
- The Magenta Venture Partners aims at investing in fintech, smart cities, AI, mobility, enterprise software, industry 4.0, and automotive sectors of Israel.
- The new fund is targeting $100 million.
Extensive and in-depth searches across various venture capital and equity investment databases did not reveal much information about venture capital funds invested by Nomura Securities, Asset Management One, and Mitsui & Co. as limited partners. The research findings indicate minimal activity in venture capital funds with limited liability partners. Only one example for Asset Management One stated that it invested as a limited partner; however, when we investigated, we found out that it invested through its subsidiary, Mizuho Bank Limited. Most of the information available online focuses on joint venture investments, as opposed to venture capital funds. Searches throughout the websites of these companies, including a thorough examination of their annual reports disclosed minimal activity, specifically regarding venture capital fund.
Our research findings suggest that these companies are not much focused on venture capital funds, and if they invest through venture funds, they do so as equal partners and not limited partners, or run their own venture capital funds for the case of Mitsui. The assumption is evidenced based on the findings across all asset management companies showing more involvement in joint venture activities as opposed to establishing a venture capital fund. The risky nature of venture capital funds investments in startups with uncertain futures is a major hindrance to increased activity in this space.
Our searches were conducted across different business and investments directories, including CrunchBase, a company and startup profiling provider. We retrieved most of the information presented here from each company's website, in particular, the press releases and product and services sections. External sources such as CB Insights, CrunchBase, Nikkei, TechCrunch, and other exchange platforms in Japan did not feature any relevant information as well. The lack of that information on the company websites suggests that they are not actively involved in venture capital funds, which is characterized by the lack of comprehensive information on such funds.
While we could not uncover specific examples for all companies where they have invested in venture capital funds as limited partners, we have presented details about their major venture capital funds, and investments in venture capital funds. Regarding the latter, we found out that Mitsui & Co. made recent investments in an Israel-based venture capital fund as an equal partner, and not a limited partner. The big nature of these businesses with the capacity to run their own venture, equity, or hedge funds could be the reason they have not made many investments in venture capital funds as limited partners.