Tokyo-based cyber security company Trend Micro today launched a US$100 million venture fund to invest in startups working in key emerging technologies.
In a statement, Trend Micro says that its new corporate venture arm allows it to “nurture a portfolio of startups” at the “epicenter of hyper growth markets” such as the internet of things. Investments of this type would give the company a more significant foothold in the booming connected device market. This could provide opportunities to encourage greater adoption of its security software products and services, which are already widely used in home PC and cloud computing contexts.
The Japanese company says in its statement that the creation of a separate venture arm gives it “additional freedom to dive into new areas without disrupting core business resources.”
In addition to financial backing, the firm’s venture fund will provide its portfolio companies with security threat intelligence and access to its ecosystem of over 28,000 partners. It will also be able to enter into strategic alliances with businesses in areas where opportunities for collaboration are identified.
While no further details of the fund’s geographic and technological scope were given by the company, Asian startups are likely to be a focal point. Trend Micro itself has Asian roots. It was set up in California by Taiwanese expatriates Steve Chang, Jenny Chang, and Eva Chen (the latter is now the company’s CEO) back in 1989. The founders subsequently relocated the firm to Taipei, before moving headquarters to Tokyo in 1992 after a merger with a Japanese company.
Tech in Asia has reached out to Trend Micro for further comment.
Several Asia-based corporates have established their own venture funding operations in recent years with the hope of tapping opportunities in the region’s ballooning startup scene. In Japan, corporates have taken the lead when it comes to early-stage investment. In Southeast Asia, Singapore’s CapitaLand, Indonesia’s Telkom, and Vietnam’s FPT are among the larger companies to have launched venture arms of late. Earlier this month, Thai industrial conglomerate SCG entered the corporate venturing space with the establishment of its AddVentures unit, which will invest in enterprise, industrial and B2B startups.
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