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Yahoo! Japan, Alibaba-backed SoftBank Capital launches $250m fund

8 Feb 2013

asia_lrgCorporate investment group SoftBank Capital has launched its $250m PrinceVille Investments fund to invest in companies looking to expand to Asia.

The new fund will focus on businesses operating in the social media, mobile applications, e-commerce, online advertising, gaming and cloud computing sectors.

SoftBank Capital principal Matt Krna told AltAssets that the fundraising process went very well. “Investors were generally quick to acknowledge the importance of the Asian markets to emerging technology companies, and, once we explained SoftBank Capital’s unique capabilities in that part of the world, understood why we’d be an attractive investment partner to the best companies out there,” said Krna.

The fund is designed to help growth stage entrepreneurs and their businesses to expand to international markets such as Japan and China, which the firm said were attractive but difficult for foreign companies to operate in.

“Our long-term ties and active working relationship with SoftBank allow us to have an unmatched ability to guide companies as they strategically approach their Asian expansion plans,” said Steve Murray, partner at SoftBank Capital.

Some of the firm’s previous investments included Buddy Media acquired by Salesforce.com, Hyperpublic acquired by Groupon, Huffington Post acquired by AOL and OMGPOP acquired by Zynga.

SoftBank’s investors include parent company and Japanese telecoms group SoftBank, which recently acquired Sprint and introduced Apple’s iPhone to the Japanese market, largest Japanese search engine Yahoo! Japan and China’s biggest online B2B company Alibaba Group.

“SoftBank related companies like Softbank Mobile, Yahoo! Japan and Alibaba are often the perfect partners for companies looking to accelerate their market presence in the region and we are the only fund investing in these sectors with deep connections to all of those companies,” added Murray.

In addition, SoftBank Capital announced several senior appointments to its investment team including new managing partner Kabir Misra and principals Scarlett O’Sullivan and Matt Krna.

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