Mitsubishi forms MUFG Innovation Partners to bolster FinTech collaborations

Maria Nikolova

MUFG Innovation Partners will launch a JPY 20 billion fund backed by commitments from the MUFG Group entities.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (TYO:8306), or MUFG, has earlier today announced the stablishment of MUFG Innovation Partners Co., Ltd. (MUIP). The new business entity will manage corporate venture capital funds of MUFG to accelerate open innovation and strengthen partnerships with FinTech-related startups.

MUFG notes that the financial services industry is being transformed by FinTech startups that have scaled up rapidly and have raised substantial amounts of capital from financial and non-financial institutions. Whereas the MUFG Group entities have previously made separate strategic investments in FinTech related startups, a larger, collaborative and more sophisticated framework for strategic investments is needed by MUFG in order to adapt itself to rapid marketplace changes and enhance open innovation.

MUIP will set up a JPY 20 billion fund backed by commitments from the MUFG Group entities, and will promote strategic investments in FinTech related startups and business synergies between MUFG and such startups. The new entity will leverage “The Investment Specialized Subsidiary” status under the Japanese Banking Act, which allows MUIP to acquire more than 5% ownerships of investees under certain conditions.

Regarding the team development, MUIP has hired venture capitalists and other professionals who have wide experiences of working with and investing in Japanese and global startups to establish a high capability of global open innovation.

Furthermore, MUIP is committed to maximizing its portfolio startups’ enterprise value by providing knowhow and leveraging the global network of MUFG.

MUFG’s partnerships in the Fintech area have been numerous. In May 2018, for instance, MUFG and Akamai Technologies, Inc. announced the development of a new blockchain service, to realize a payment processing platform with a capacity to process a million transactions per second and the ability to finalize transactions in less than 2 seconds.

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