Sony, the Japanese consumer electronics behemoth, is known to lend a helping hand to promising and upcoming startups across various technology sectors like robotics, AI, mobility, healthcare, foodtech, SaaS, fintech, edtech, and ESG.
This is possible through its Innovation Funds, the first of which was launched in 2016. Six years down the line, Sony Ventures Corporation (SVC) announced the first closing of Sony Innovation Fund 3 (SIF3), its fourth fund. Gen Tsuchikawa, CEO of SVC, announced the same in a LinkedIn post.
Sony’s venture arm has been known to make over 100 investments in various tech sectors, and today, SVC manages the Japanese conglomerate in the investment arena. In fact, Sony Innovation Fund, SIF3, Sony Innovation Fund: Environment (launched in 2020), and Sony Innovation Fund by IGV (2019) account for nearly $520.4 million (60 billion Yen) of capital commitments.
Sony has a vision to continue innovating and rolling out new technologies, content, and services, and the upcoming startups are benefiting from this arrangement. The very mission of Sony Innovation Fund is to shape the future of society, business, and entertainment and grow together through innovation, creativity, and new technologies. One of their more recent investments is Scandit, the Swiss startup which entered the unicorn club with the funding round.
SIF3 has a target of 25 billion Yen ($215 million) and counts Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, SMBC Nikko Securities, Mizuho Group, Daiwa Securities Group (Daiwa VC Accelerator), Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, The Bank of Yokohama, The Shiga Bank, Koei Tecmo Capital, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Estate and Sony Group as its limited partners.
“Sony is committed to fostering new businesses and promoting open innovation,” said Toshimoto Mitomo, Executive VP of Sony Group Corporation. “Since the launch of our first fund, our venture investment activities have grown steadily, which is why we have established Sony Ventures Corporation. We are confident that this investment activity will make a solid contribution to Sony and the technology ecosystems it supports.”
Going forward, Sony and SVC will continue to engage with pioneering startups in order to “help fuel the development of disruptive technologies, launch new businesses, and support ESG investing while maintaining a focus on return on investment.”