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MUFG taps Israeli AI to hunt for Asian unicorns

Banking data and subscription numbers aid in search for diamonds in the rough

MUFG Bank hopes that its algorithms will help it create relationships with new businesses in Southeast Asia and India. (Photo by Akira Kodaka)

TOKYO -- Japan's MUFG Bank will use artificial intelligence to screen Asian startups for financing, looking beyond balance sheets to forge relationships with promising businesses who otherwise may not yet qualify for bank loans.

MUFG Bank will launch a 50-50 joint venture in Singapore with Liquidity Capital, an investment fund based in Israel that has a track record of incorporating AI into its operations. The venture will house a $80 million fund, financed entirely by MUFG Bank, which will start operating by the end of the year.

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