Japanese insurance firm Sompo to invest in Israeli startups

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc is seen at the company's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc [SJII.UL] said on Sunday it was expanding into Israel with the launch of an innovation lab that will focus on investments in technology startups.

The Israeli hub, which will invest in startups in the fields of insurance technology, mobility, health, eldercare, homecare, remote medical care, blockchain, internet of things and cyber, will be Sompo’s third after Tokyo and Silicon Valley.

Sompo, a core unit of Sompo Holdings Inc 8630.T, did not disclose financial details.

It said its Israeli office will seek out potential startups in which to invest, while also focusing on collaborations for new products for the Japanese and global markets. It also aims to promote partnerships with academic institutions.

Investments in Israeli startups will be done directly by Sompo, at sums of at least $5 million, or through a corporate capital venture established jointly by Sompo and U.S. venture capital firm TransLink Capital for investments of $1-$5 million.

Sompo plans to invest in one to three firms in the first year and create collaborations with five to 10 companies.

Reporting by Steven Scheer