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Asia Tech: The 12 Most Active Corporate Investors(Part 2)

5. SMBC Venture Capital

SMBC Venture Capital is the investment arm of Tokyo-based Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. The firm is tied with Brand Capital with at least a dozen Asia tech investments from Q1’16 through Q1’17, but SMBC’s deal activity over the five quarters went entirely to Japan-based startups with deal activity roughly even across all investment stages from seed to Series D.

The largest deals SMBC participated in over the five-quarter period were an $87.6M Series D to SmartNews, a news discovery app; a $14.4M Series B to WealthNavi, a cloud-based asset management and robo-advisory service; and a $19.9M Series C to BASE, an e-commerce platform. Fellow Japan-based corporate investor CyberAgent Ventures and SBI Investment also count BASE among their portfolio companies.

6. Qualcomm Ventures

The most active US-based corporate investing in Asia Tech, Qualcomm Ventures (QCV) was formed and began funding deals in 2000 with a $500M fund for strategic investments in technology ventures, with a stated emphasis on the mobile/wireless opportunities. The firm made more than 10 investments in Asian tech startups from Q1’16 to Q1’17, with at least 5 deals in India, 4 in China, and 2 in South Korea.

QCV was founded with a focus on early-stage deals, but its activity in Asia over the five quarters preceding Q2’17 included two late-stage rounds: The firm participated in a $10M Series E to Borqs International, a China-based IoT device maker, in Q1’17 and made two follow-on investments in Indian mobile app distributor AppsDaily Solutions – participating in a $2M bridge in Q3’16 and a $3.75M Series D in Q4’16. Zodius Capital and Kalaari Capital invested alongside QVC in both of those AppsDaily rounds.

7. Legend Capital

The Asia tech deals made by Legend Capital from Q1’16 to Q1’17 went to nine Chinese companies, all in rounds totaling $12M or higher. The recent additions to the firm’s Asia tech portfolio companies are mobile and internet software/services businesses serving a range of markets from transportation to food/beverage: Its largest deals over the five-quarter period preceding Q2’17 included participation in a $260M Series D round to Innovent Biologics, a biopharmaceutical company, and a $100M Series A to AtourHoutel, an operator of boutique hotels throughout China.

Legend was also the only investor in a $19M Series B round to Bangsun Technology, a financial risk technology startup, in Q3’16. Legend then made a follow-on investment in Bangsun in May alongside corporate investor F&G Venture, among others.

8. Nissay Capital

Nissay Capital, the venture arm of Nippon Life Insurance Company, is an active investor in B2B and B2C IT companies as well as medical/healthcare and manufacturing startups. The firm has also shown an interest in e-commerce, making a follow-on investment in Tokyo-based LaFabric’s Series B round in Q1’17.

Nissay’s approximately seven Asia tech investments between Q1’16 and Q1’17 all went to Japan-based companies, including several SaaS businesses serving enterprise customers: In Q1’16 alone, the firm participated in deals to TagPic, which offers influencer marketing services; SanSan, a provider of “business card management” services; and Oneteam, a project collaboration platform.

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