SoftBank raises $270 million via Seoul unit for early-stage investments

FILE PHOTO: The logo of SoftBank Group Corp is displayed at the SoftBank World 2017 conference in Tokyo, Japan, July 20, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - SoftBank Group Corp said on Friday its Seoul-based venture capital unit focusing on early-stage investments has raised a 317 billion won ($270 million) fund.

SoftBank Ventures Asia’s new fund will invest in early-stage startups globally with a focus on Asia, the tech conglomerate said.

The new fund, which aims to close in the next six months with investors including South Korea’s National Pension Service, reflects a renewed appetite by SoftBank for early-stage investing.

While SoftBank’s Saudi-backed, $100 billion Vision Fund bestrides the investing scene for late-stage startups, the group’s Chief Operating Officer Marcelo Claure in March launched a $5 billion, Latin American-focused fund.

Previous investments by SoftBank Ventures Asia, which was established in 2000 before its remit was expanded earlier this year, include South Korean gaming company Nexon Co, which made its trading debut in Japan in 2011, and Indonesian e-commerce firm Tokopedia.

Reporting by Sam Nussey; Additional reporting by Chris Gallagher; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Sherry Jacob-Phillips