Japan’s Credit Saison launches USD 55 million fund for Southeast Asian and Indian startups

The firm plans to invest in six to eight startups across the region annually

Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash

Japanese consumer finance firm Credit Saison has launched an international corporate venture capital (CVC) arm called Saison Capital. The latter’s new fund will deploy up to USD 55 million via equity investments in early-stage startups from Southeast Asia and India.

According to a press statement, Saison Capital wants to invest in six to eight companies every year with an initial ticket size of up to USD 1 million. One of its prominent portfolio companies is Indonesian peer-to-peer lending platform KoinWorks.

With the new fund, Credit Saison will leverage its existing networks and expertise across Southeast Asia, having invested in Grab and cashback platform Shopback, the company said.

The company is also a limited partner in a number of VC funds in the region, including Antler, Cyberagent Ventures, East Ventures, Gree Ventures (now known as STRIVE), and BEENEXT.

According the the company, Saison Capital will invest in founders building ecosystems to distribute financial services to the underbanked, though they also have a mandate to invest in a wide variety of verticals outside the fintech space. The CVC will leverage on Credit Saison’s track record in driving adoption of financial services in emerging markets for consumers, and small to large enterprises.

“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. We can be a long-term growth partner for some of the world’s most exciting start-ups, supporting their internationalisation and scaling up. We are taking these start-ups to the next level, from seed to Series A, B, and beyond,” said Kosuke Mori, the managing partner at Saison Capital.

Saison Capital portfolio companies will become part of the Credit Saison ecosystem. According to the company, they will benefit from Credit Saison’s wide-ranging expertise and experience in dozens of business verticals, including payments, consumer credit, and asset management.

Credit Saison is the third-largest credit card issuer in Japan, with over 20 million cardholders. The firm’s other businesses include payments, consumer credit, lending, and asset management.