Japan’s Credit Saison floats VC fund to invest in India, Southeast Asia
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Credit Saison, a Japanese consumer finance company, has launched its international corporate venture capital arm that will back startups in India and Southeast Asia.

Saison Capital, the VC arm, aims to deploy up to $55 million (Rs 390 crore) through equity investments in early-stage startups, the Japanese company said in a statement.

It plans to invest in six to eight companies every year with initial ticket sizes of up to $1 million.

“The establishment of Saison Capital is Credit Saison’s latest commitment to its international expansion and the constant innovation and modernisation of its operations and product offering,” said Kosuke Mori, managing partner at Saison Capital.

Mori said Saison can be a long-term growth partner for startups and support their international expansion. “We are taking these startups to the next level, from seed to Series A, B, and beyond.”

Saison Capital has already invested in Koinworks, an Indonesian peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform.

The VC fund is sector-agnostic but would focus on founders that are building businesses that offer financial services to the underbanked. It will draw on Credit Saison’s track record in driving adoption of financial services in emerging markets for consumers, and small to large enterprises.

Credit Saison, Japan’s third-largest credit card issuer, is an investor in Singapore-based technology unicorn Grab. Its business also includes a range of financial services including payments, lending and asset management. Besides, it has been a limited partner in VC funds such as Gree Ventures (now known as STRIVE) and BEENEXT.

Saison Capital said its portfolio companies will become part of the Credit Saison ecosystem, and will have access to partners across finance and technology disruptors. The portfolio companies will also benefit from Credit Saison’s expertise in dozens of business verticals, including payments, consumer credit and asset management.

“Our unique value proposition is our strong institutional knowledge of the financing space, the investment team’s tech backgrounds, and the speed of our conviction,” said Chris Sirisereepaph, partner at Saison Capital.

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