One of Japan’s major financial institutions, with nearly ¥280 billion ($2.57 billion) in market cap, SBI Holdings, listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange under ticker 8473, has thus far raised ¥20 billion ($183 million) of the ¥30 billion ($275 million – originally $245 million before the yen strengthened) that had been initially targeted for its fintech venture fund in December, according to an update from the company as explained to Finance Magnates.
It’s important to note that in early December the price of the Japanese yen was nearly 123.00 against the US dollar, compared to it being almost 109.00 today, therefore, the ¥30 billion original target was worth $245 million at the time, compared to the translation of the same yen value into $275 million today – as the currency had since strengthened over 11%, for comparison.
¥ 20 billion of ¥ 30 billion in 6 months
The target in yen is nearly two-thirds achieved – with ¥10 billion left to go – as the firm eyes new and existing companies to invest in including in startups leveraging Blockchain technology in their financial related product offerings, in addition to mature fintech companies already well-established.
More than twenty institutions including regional banks had invested in the fund, such as Bank of Yokohama, Ashikaga Bank, San-in Godo Bank and Kiyo Bank, as per an SBI Holdings presentation.
In addition, big data, and payment sectors, and other fintech fields of interest including the Internet of Things (IoT) can be seen in the screenshot below from an SBI Holdings presentation about areas the venture fund is targeting.
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The fund was launched in early December last year and portions of the existing ¥20 billion in funds have already been used to make a number of investments in what the firm hopes to be promising fintech companies, including regional banks or other financial institutions.
A subsidiary of the firm, SBI Investment, manages the venture fund which oversees the ¥20 billion amount, while SBI Investment’s other funds and investments under management include having invested over ¥3.6 trillion into what it describes as the next generation of growth areas in non-public open companies such as in the information technology (IT) sector. SBI Group has presence in over 20 countries and consists of 208 companies as of September 2015.
Online trading expertise
The parent company also has a forex trading arm, SBI FXTRADE, where it offers online margin trading to retail clients. In addition, one of SBI Holdings’ other subsidiary for capital markets is SBI Securities, had recently reported nearly ¥40 billion in operating income for its 2016 fiscal year.
The group’s combined experience from operating related businesses across financial services, including online trading, was mentioned as a reason for its decision to create the fintech fund according to a press release from last December regarding the initial announcement.