Rakuten Ventures has launched a US$100 million global investment fund targeting investments in startups and companies in Israel, Asia Pacific, and the USA.
According to Rakuten's media statement, this fund builds on the success of the Southeast Asia fund, which was originally launched in 2013 and counts Carousell, Visenze, Coda Payments and Send Anywhere among its investment portfolio.
Through this fund, the company will empower the startup ecosystem beyond Japan and Southeast Asia and hopes to positively affect Internet services globally.
The fund will focus broadly on early stage investments in companies from the technology industry that are able to deliver financial returns with strategic relevance, the Japanese Internet company said in its statement.
The fund operations will be run out of Singapore, with Saemin Ahn, the Managing Partner of Rakuten Ventures, acting as the fund advisor.
"If you just look at the last couple of years, companies like Waze and Viber are great examples of companies taking on massive issues like transportations and communications, breaking them down to their basics, and providing an engaging and sticky user experience that people have come to love and depend on," Saemin said. "More Asia-based VCs are venturing out into different regions to look at investment as long-term growth vehicles. Since 2013, Rakuten Ventures has been one of such VCs to aggressively invest larger amounts into younger companies, to enable them to focus on product and service development."
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