Japanese insurance company Tokio Marine launches CVC fund to support early-stage startups – MovieUpdates

Tokyo Navyan insurance company headquartered in Tokyo said Tuesday it has launched its $42 million corporate venture capital (CVC) fund called the Tokyo Marine Future Fund to invest in early stage startups around the world.

The Palo Alto-based CVC fund will write checks worth between $500K and $3 million in seed, Series A rounds in sectors such as insurtech, fintech, mobility, healthcare, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, automation and climate technology.

“There are often cases where Tokyo Marine sees promising companies or product ideas that are too early to support Tokyo Marine as a customer,” Yoshi Yoshida, who leads the CVC fund at Tokyo Marine, told MovieUpdates. “We don’t associate investments with an immediate strategic opportunity, but want to help accelerate development, either as a consultant or as a capacity provider, with the hope that eventually there will be an opportunity to partner strategically or become a client as they progress.”

The fund collaborates with World Innovation Lab (WiL), a Silicon Valley-Japan-based venture capital firm with approximately $1.5 billion in assets under management (AUM), to drive the CVC’s investment strategy and process. “WiL will act as the CVC fund manager led by Steve Pretre, who manages WiL’s investments in the fintech and insurtech sectors,” Yoshida said.

Steve Pretre, partner of WiL, said that WiL will provide back office administration for the fund and leverage its portfolio support capabilities for marketing, access to the Japanese market and broad expertise.

“Initially, I will take an active role in seeking out and driving investment with the fund, as I advise and collaborate with the Tokyo Marine team in developing their own network and deal flow,” said Pretre.

Tokyo Marine says the new venture investment fund will expand Tokyo Marine’s existing commitment to supporting its startup Innovation labs in Silicon Valley, New York, London, Singapore, Sao Paulo, Taipei and Tokyo.

“The Silicon Valley Innovation Lab works directly with the CVC team to drive business development activities between portfolio companies and Tokyo Marine companies post-investment,” said Pretre.

The fund has made several early stage investments to date, including: carefullya financial care app that monitors and protects the day-to-day finances of aging parents; Nirvana Insurancea platform that delivers commercial insurance for fleets and transportation from the ground up; Titaniama data protection platform that delivers encryption in use to ensure that even if attackers get in, they can’t leave with valuable data; TrustLayer, an AI-powered risk management platform that allows users to verify that their business partners have the appropriate coverage; and Voxela real-time risk identification platform that uses computer vision and AI to enable security cameras to automatically identify hazards and risky activities in real time, keep employees safe and manage operational efficiency.

Tokyo Maine, the sole limited partner of the CVC fund, is now allocating $42 million to the original fund. The company says Tokyo Marine plans to allocate more to the next fund once it is deployed. Pretre told MovieUpdates that Tokio Marine has long been an LP in the WiL growth fund, so the company approached WiL to partner up for its CVC fund.

“The fund is structured as a single LP fund with WiL as the managing primary care physician,” Pretre said. “With this structure, we have the ability to quickly make financially-driven investment decisions using a professionally managed VC approach, while also capitalizing on the strategic value of Tokyo Marine’s global operations, both during and after the investment process.”

“The global investment opportunities for early stage innovative startups in the United States and emerging markets are immense,” Yoshida said in a statement. “Tokyo Marine’s global presence gives us the opportunity to help accelerate the growth of startups by addressing new opportunities… We are excited to help empower a new generation of entrepreneurs.”

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