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Omron, Ricoh plan joint fund for IoT, robotics startups

OSAKA -- Omron and Ricoh will launch a joint venture fund in March worth about 5 billion yen ($44.5 million) together with the Innovation Network Corp. of Japan in an unusual move to support promising startups in the Internet of Things, robotics and other growing fields.

     The companies, along with the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. group, will invest a total of 1.5 billion yen. The INCJ, a state-backed investment fund, will contribute 3.5 billion yen. Omron and Ricoh will call on three to five giants in industries such as automobiles and industrial machinery to participate as well, aiming to expand the venture fund to 7 billion yen by the end of the year.

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