Japan-based Credit Saison, on Thursday, rolled out a $55 Mn venture fund focused on early-stage startups in Southeast Asia and Indian markets. Reportedly, the Saison Capital is going to be the first dedicated corporate venture capital (CVC) of the credit card company.
Credit Saison plans to invest its CVC through equity investments with initial ticket sizes of not more than $1 Mn. The company will invest in around six to eight companies every year.
The Japenese credit card company shared that they are primarily looking to invest in fintech startups operating in areas with less availability of financial services offered by banks. The company is also targeting startups, which can complement Credit Saison’s suite of financial services.
On the launch of the venture fund, on October 24, Kosuke Mori, managing partner at Saison Capital, stressed that there is a trend of startups looking to integrate financial services in their product, but many of them might not have the expertise to do so. “CVC then comes handy with the technical expertise and financial capabilities to help these startups scale up,” he added.
Mori also gave insights on the factors the fund looks for before investing. According to him, startup’s unit economics, its scalability, and its founder’s ambition in growing the company play a significant role.
Further, Mori shared that the CVC is willing to wait to get its portfolio companies and ultimately hopes to play a long-term game in growing the financial service sector, especially among the underbanked in the region.
Chris Sirisereepaph, a partner at the fund, clarified that Saison Capital has an independent decision-making process from Credit Saison.
The portfolio startups will also become a part of the Credit Saison ecosystem and will be granted access to partner across its finance and technology arms. Credit Saison ecosystem features joint ventures with HCM Development Bank in Vietnam and technology companies such as Grab.
The funding company expects that the CVC’s patience towards its portfolio companies might pay off in the long run.
Corporate-Based Funds Investing In Indian Startups
In the recent past, corporates with deep pockets have launched venture funds with the aim to invest in early-age startups. Wipro-owned Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting, on October 19, allocated $28 Mn to its venture fund — Wipro Consumer Care-Ventures.
Moreover, tech companies like Google, Alibaba, Microsoft, and Times Internet have also shown preference to invest in startups.
In July 2019, South-Korea based Samsung started a growth plan in India with its venture capital arm, Samsung Venture Investment Corporation (SVIC). SVIC was reported to invest in startups, based on new and innovative technologies, that are expected to serve as new growth engines.
US-based Microsoft too launched its corporate venture fund M12 in India in January 2019.