Softbank Capital’s $250 million fund to help early stage companies break into Japan, Asia



Late last night Softbank Capital announced a new $250 million investment fund which will aspire to help early stage companies looking to break into difficult Asian markets like China and Japan [1]. We were in touch with Softbank Capital’s Matt Krna soon after the announcement who explained that the average investment size for the fund will be in the $10 million to $20 million range, with the ability to go even larger in the right situation. The fund will be deployed over the next several years.

Dubbed the PrinceVille Investment Fund, we’re told the majority of investments will likely be early-stage US-based companies, but there could also be startups from Asia or Europe if they can find “category-leading companies” that can accelerate their growth.

The announcement specifies that Softbank Capital is primarily looking for standout companies in areas such as social media, mobile apps, e-commerce, online advertising, gaming, and cloud computing.

As for the competitors of Softbank proper, they are also busy in the venture space of late. It was just yesterday that NTT Docomo (NYSE:DCM) shared more details about its Docomo Innovation Village, an incubation program that will include a 10 billion yen fund ($107 million) to target companies at home in Japan. Similarly, KDDI (TYO:9433) just unveiled five new mobile startups from its accelerator program a week ago. You can read our report on that event here.

  1. Softbank Capital is a venture group affiliated with the Japan’s Softbank Corporation (TSE:9984).  ↩