Sony Ventures Corporation (SVC) announced today that it has completed the first closing of its $215 million (25 billion JPY) fourth fund, Sony Innovation Fund 3 (SIF3), to back all stages of emerging technology companies. Sony Ventures Corporation was established in July last year to manage all of Sony’s venture investment activities through Sony Innovation Fund (SIF), Sony Innovation Fund by IGV, a joint venture with Daiwa Capital Holdings, Sony Innovation Fund: Environment, and SIF3. These funds account for almost $520.4 million of capital commitments.
Since launching its first Sony Innovation fund in 2016, the Japanese tech giant’s venture arm has made more than 100 investments in technology sectors like robotics, AI, mobility, healthcare, foodtech, SaaS, fintech, edtech and ESG. In addition, approximately 40% of Sony Innovation Funds portfolio companies have formed strategic partnerships with Sony to date. For instance, Japanese robo-advisor WelathNavi provides its service to SonyBank users. In January, Sony also had a partnership with Japan’s Koala Tech, an organic semiconductor laser element developer, for joint research and development.
“Today we announced the formation of Sony Ventures Corporation, a 100% subsidiary of Sony Group, and the first close of our new fund. The basic strategy will remain the same, but with a larger fund,” CEO of Sony Venture Corporation Gen Tsuchikawa, who leads the firm, said in a LinkedIn post on Thursday.
The firm, which started to raise the SIF3 in the second half of 2021, aims to complete the final close later this year, Tsuchikawa told Techcrunch. Sony Ventures focuses on seed to Series B companies to make investments up to $10 million, Tsuchikawa added.
Limited partners of the Sony Innovation Fund 3 include Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, SMBC Nikko Securities, Mizuho Group, Daiwa Securities Group (Daiwa VC Accelerator), Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, The Bank of Yokohama, The Shiga Bank, Koei Tecmo Capital, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Estate and Sony Group.
Most recently, the company has invested in transportation robotics company Superpedestrian, which raised $125 million in February; metaverse and XR domain solution startup monoAI Technology, which raised a $6.5 million funding in January; and digital image verification software provider Truepic, which secured $26 million in a Series B funding in September last year.
“Sony is committed to fostering new businesses and promoting open innovation,” said Toshimoto Mitomo, executive vice president of Sony Group. “Since the launch of our first fund, our venture investment activities have grown steadily, which is why we have established Sony Ventures Corporation. We are confident that this investment activity will make a solid contribution to Sony and the technology ecosystems it supports.”
“We actively foster entrepreneurs and startups that lead the creation of next-generation technologies, promote open innovation and contribute to the global environment and social development through our corporate venture capital activities,” Tsuchikawa said in a statement. “Sony Ventures Corporation will not only invest in emerging technology sectors and high-growth startups but will further strengthen its ESG initiatives and eagerly support its portfolio companies.”
Updates with additional comments from Tsuchikawa in the fourth paragraph