Taizo Son to acquire Softbank Ventures Asia, aiming to build regional startup ecosystem

Taizo Son spoke at the Ventures Forum 2017 by SoftBank Ventures Korea (formerly) in Seoul.
Image credit: SoftBank Ventures Asia

Taizo Son, founder of Mistletoe, a collective impact community comprised of startups and innovators, and Atsushi Taira, co-founder and chairman, have established a new company called The Edgeof. The new company has agreed with SoftBank Group to acquire SoftBank Ventures Asia, the group’s wholly owned subsidiary. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. (The new company has incidentally the same name with the game-changing studio Son joined the launch of, which shut down during the pandemic.)

SoftBank Ventures Asia was established in Seoul in 2000 under its previous name of SoftBank Ventures Korea. Originally investing in South Korean startups, the firm rebranded its name in 2019 as it has increased its investments beyond the country into the Southeast Asian and Chinese markets. The fund’s current AUM (Assets Under Management) has reached around $2 billion, with offices in Seoul, Beijing, Singapore, and San Francisco, and focuses on ICT investments, including AI, IoT, and smart robotics.

SoftBank Ventures Asia’s notable investments to date include Indonesian e-commerce unicorn Tokopedia (which later merged with Gojek and went public in Indonesia), sneaker and other fashion item marketplace Kream, POS startup Moka, used car portal Carro, P2P lender Funding Societies, C2C marketplace Sendo, co-working space operator EV Hive, as well as AI leaning app developer Mathpresso.

Meanwhile, Mistletoe has so far invested in about 170 companies from 15 countries. Since its foundation back in February of 2016, its notable investments include online gaming giant and unicorn Garena, blockchain-based startup-focused stock exchange Funderstream, Singapore-based data-driven venture investment platform Hatcher+, among others. We haven’t confirmed whether or not any change will be made to the respective funds managed by SoftBank Ventures Asia and Mistletoe.