Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) has set up a $185 million venture capital fund to invest in fintech startups.
The financial services giant says that, while it has made a series of separate strategic investments in fintech startups over the last few years, it now needs a "larger, collaborative and more sophisticated framework" to help it adapt itself to "rapid marketplace changes and enhance open innovation".
The firm has put together a team of VCs and other experts with a history of working with, and investing in, Japanese and global startups to run MUFG Innovation Partners.
MUFG stresses that it not only wants to pump money into promising firms, but also provide access to its expertise and global network.
The new unit plans to take advantage of the "Investment Specialised Subsidiary" status under the Japanese Banking Act to enable it to buy more than five per cent stakes in some fintechs.