SoftBank Ventures hires Seung Lee as CFO

Lee joins the Japanese early-stage investment giant as it gears up for expansion across Asia.

SoftBank Ventures Asia, the early-stage investment vehicle of the SoftBank Group, has hired a chief financial officer as it prepares to expand across Asia.

Lee will be responsible for the management of the global funds and the limited partners of SoftBank Ventures Asia. He will also oversee the financial initiatives of global offices including Beijing, Singapore and Silicon Valley, the firm said in a statement on Tuesday. 

SoftBank Ventures Asia, which was renamed from SoftBank Ventures Korea at the start of the year, plans to boost its early-stage investments globally with a particular emphasis on Asia. It acts as the bridge to the broad SoftBank ecosystem by sourcing and funding the best startups and entrepreneurs.

Currently operating teams in Seoul, Beijing, San Francisco, and Tel Aviv, SoftBank Ventures Asia said on January 3 it is looking to open offices and hire investment professionals in Singapore and Shanghai.

"I am excited by the opportunity to enhance our presence in the early stage and look forward to backing passionate entrepreneurs with the boldest, most life-changing ideas," said JP Lee, the chief executive of SoftBank Ventures Asia. 

Lee comes on board after advising on mergers and acquisitions and raising capital for more than 15 years in Morgan Stanley's Hong Kong and Seoul offices. He had also launched a startup prior to joining SoftBank Ventures Asia.

SoftBank Ventures Asia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SoftBank Group and was established as SoftBank Ventures Korea in 2000. While initially focused on the Korean market, it started making investments globally. 

With over $1.1 billion under management, SoftBank Ventures Asia has invested in over 250 companies across 10 countries with a focus on artificial intelligence, the internet of things and robotics startups.

Notable investments globally include Indonesia's Tokopedia, which is focused on commerce, logistics, payments and financial services; Mythic, an AI chip company based in Silicon Valley; and Snow China, an augmented reality camera app.

"The SoftBank Ventures Asia team first invested in Tokopedia in 2013 and were an early believer in our mission to democratize commerce through technology," said William Tanuwijaya, chief executive and co-founder of Tokopedia in a statement.

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