Sony Corporation (hereafter “Sony”) established the corporate venture capital fund, “Sony Innovation Fund: Environment,” in September 2020, to nurture ventures specializing in new environmental technology.
Sony established the Sony Innovation Fund in July 2016 to invest in seed to early-stage startups. With offices in Japan, North America, Europe and India, Sony has made more than 60 investments to date in a wide range of business areas, from AI and robotics to mobility, IoT, medical, fintech and entertainment.
In March 2019, Sony established a joint venture company, Innovation Growth Ventures, Inc., with Daiwa Capital Holdings, Inc. to form a larger joint fund, Innovation Growth Fund I L.P. Sony has also been investing in mid- to later-stage ventures through this fund.
Since its inception, the Sony Innovation Fund has supported the growth of its portfolio companies by providing them with opportunities for collaboration on everything from technology to joint development and business partnerships. Sony will continue to make value-added investments with the Sony Innovation Fund: Environment moving forward.
Sony’s long-term vision is to achieve a “zero environmental footprint” by 2050 throughout the life cycle of its products and business activities. In addition, Sony plans to promote activities that will have a positive impact on the global environment through technology and business. As part of this initiative, Sony Innovation Fund: Environment, Sony’s third corporate venture capital fund, will focus on supporting companies that are developing technologies to address global environmental issues such as climate change, resources, chemical substances, and biodiversity. The fund will start by investing 1 billion yen primarily in seed- to early- stage startups, but a further expansion in scale is being considered in the future depending on the level of activity. From a long-term view, Sony aims to achieve both a contribution to the global environment as well as a return on investment. In addition, all of the Sony Innovation Fund’s funds are planning to add ESG to their investment evaluation criteria.
Comment by Toshimoto Mitomo, Executive Vice President of Sony Corporation
“With its corporate venture capital activities, Sony has promoted open innovation by nurturing technologies and startups for the next generation. Through the activities of this new environment-focused fund, Sony aims to accelerate innovation that will help solve global environmental issues and contribute to the progress and development of society.”
Sony will search, both internally and externally, for technologies and ventures that can help solve environmental issues, and will provide investment capital and commercialization support in an effort to help create a better, more sustainable society.