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SoftBank venture arm to open new offices in Singapore, Shanghai

SoftBank Group Corp. will open new offices and hire more investment professionals in Singapore and in China's Shanghai for its early-stage investment vehicle SOFTBANK Ventures Korea Inc., after renaming it to SoftBank Ventures Asia.

SoftBank Ventures Korea currently operates in Seoul, Beijing, San Francisco and Tel Aviv, the Japanese telecommunications and technology company said Jan. 2.

The move is intended to increase SoftBank Group's venture investments globally with a focus on Asia.

"SoftBank Ventures Asia invests to accelerate the information revolution and is increasingly interested in the application of artificial intelligence across different industries," SoftBank Ventures Asia's CEO and Managing Partner, JP Lee said.

The venture arm initially looked at deals in the South Korean market after its inception, and now has over US$1.1 billion assets under management across 10 countries. It has invested in companies that concentrate on artificial intelligence, internet of things and robotics.

Notable investments include those in Indonesian technology company PT. Tokopedia which concentrates on providing commerce, logistics, payments and financial services, Mythic, an AI company in Silicon Valley, Hyperconnect Inc., the South Korea-based operator of a video communications platform, and an augmented reality camera app called SNOW China. Hyperconnect Inc.