UB Ventures’ new fund secured capital from its parent company, Wistron’s Wise Cap subsidiary, banks and other investors.

Osamu Iwasawa

Image of founder and general partner Osamu Iwasawa courtesy of Uzabase.

UB Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Japanese financial database provider Uzabase, has launched ¥10bn ($63.7m) UBV Fund 2.

The fund, which is still raising money, will target startups developing technologies and services to address Japan’s declining workforce, especially in legacy industries. It will focus on software-as-a-service (SaaS), artificial intelligence, internet-of-things, media, metaverse and digitalisation startups from seed to series A stages.

In addition to Uzabase itself, the fund is backed by electronics manufacturer Wistron’s Wise Cap subsidiary as well as SMBC Nikko Securities, SBI Shinsei Bank, Fukuoka Financial Group’s FFG Venture Business Partners unit, Saga Bank, Sanin Godo Bank, Shikoku Bank, Shizuoka Bank, Joyo Bank, Tokyo Star Bank and Yamaguchi Bank.

Organization for Small & Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation backed the fund, as did unnamed financial institutions and individual backers.

Founded in 2018, UB Ventures is led by founder and general partner Osamu Iwasawa (pictured). It initially invested in digital media and SaaS, business-to-business startups, with 29 active portfolio companies and one exit.

Besides Uzabase, the first fund counted marketing firm Dentsu, media group Sankei Digital, internet company GMO Internet Group’s GMO VenturePartners unit, management consultancy EggForward and Fukuoka Bank among its limited partners.

Edison Fu

Edison Fu is a reporter and Asia liaison at Global Corporate Venturing.