OSAKA -- Japanese sporting goods maker Asics is setting up a 3 billion yen ($27.6 million) fund to invest in sports-related startups at home and abroad in hopes of jointly developing globally competitive products ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Startups will also have access to such nonfinancial resources as Asics research facilities in Kobe, where the company is headquartered, and its ties to various athletes.
The new subsidiary will be based at company headquarters and led by an Asics employee with a background in investment banking as well as mergers and acquisitions.
The fund will also have a presence in Tokyo. It will consult with experts on startups, venture capital firms, universities, research institutions and others to create its portfolio. Plans are to invest in businesses developing sports equipment, such devices as wearables, and sportswear materials, as well as those looking into recycling sports-related goods.
The fund will first invest 3 billion yen over two years or so, increasing the amount as needed in the future.