Notice Regarding an Investment into and Memorandum of Understanding on Establishing a Joint Venture with the Singapore-based AntWorksTM
July 30, 2017
SBI Holdings, Inc. (Head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director, President & CEO: Yoshitaka Kitao) hereby announces that it has recently entered into a memorandum of understanding with AntWorks Pte. Ltd. (Head office: Singapore; CEO: Asheesh Mehra; hereafter “AntWorks”), which has been invested from SBI AI&Blockchain Fund (fund name: SBI AI&Blockchain LPS; hereinafter “SBI A&B Fund”) that is managed by SBI Investment Co., Ltd. (Head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director and President: Katsuya Kawashima; hereinafter “SBI Investment”), a wholly owned subsidiary of SBI Holdings. The purpose of the memorandum of understanding is to establish a joint venture company with AntWorks to operate businesses in Asia.
AntWorks is the developer and provider of an operations processing automation platform called Robotic Process Automation (“RPA”), which is characterized by delivering services ranging from AI-based data recognition to automating operations on a single platform. This platform is excellent for data recognition because it uses a fractal theory-based AI technology to read data in non-unified format documents called non-standard format documents, which account for 90 percent of all in-company documents. The platform also has Machine Learning and Natural Language Modelling capabilities which makes it one of the most comprehensive end to end automation platforms available. Specifically, the platform can handle unlimited types of non-standard format document that do not have a specific format, such as various financial statements, agreements, and invoices. To date, AntWorks has been providing its customers with its platform ANTsteinTM in a variety of industries from leading consulting service companies to financial services firms, such as major regional banks and insurers in India.
SBI Holdings has recently entered into the above-mentioned memorandum of understanding with AntWorks in order to contribute capital to it through the establishment of a joint venture company, which will focus on countries in Asia, such as Japan, China, South Korea, and Indonesia. Going forward, by utilizing the SBI Group’s network, including SBI FinTech Incubation, a group company that already supports regional financial institutions to introduce Fintech services, SBI Holdings will strive the introduction of products and services offered by AntWorks to domestic and overseas financial institutions through the joint-venture company. SBI A&B Fund of SBI Investment has been actively investing in promising start-up companies inside and outside Japan in sectors such as AI and blockchain, including the FinTech sector, which is being carefully watched globally, as well as the IoT, robotics, and the sharing economy, which have close links to these technologies. More than 40 companies have contributed capital to SBI A&B Fund. They comprise financial institutions, non-financial companies, and institutional investors, and include domestic regional financial institutions and overseas entities. Capital contributors will introduce and use their advanced technologies and services to assist individual investee companies to engage in open innovation, consequently raising the value of the investee companies.
After years of actively investing in venture companies in growth fields, such as the IT, mobile and bio-life science sectors, as well as FinTech, the SBI Group is now equipped with a wealth of experience from investing in those companies and supporting their development. We will continue to actively develop next-generation industries and enhance the enterprise value of the venture companies in which we invest.