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Chemical giant Denka dives into VC with $100M fund managed by Pegasus Tech Ventures

Pegasus Tech Ventures, a Silicon Valley-headquartered venture capital firm that helps corporations invest in startups, said it has set up a $100 million fund with Japanese chemical and life science company Denka.

Denka, a 107-year-old firm, is the sole limited partner of the newly established corporate venture capital fund and in line with its 2030 mission, is interested in investing in startups that address pressing global issues, including sustainability and population growth.

Pegasus Tech Ventures currently manages more than 30 strategic funds, or CVC funds, via partnerships with large global corporations in Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Europe and the U.S., said founder and chief executive of Pegasus Tech Ventures, Anis Uzzaman. These corporate partners -- mostly in the manufacturing sector, like industrials, chemicals and pharma -- want to put capital in startups to incorporate advanced technologies into their core business, Uzzaman told TechCrunch.

Pegasus Tech Ventures will help Denka more specifically search for early- to late-stage startups in renewable energy, EV batteries, chips and health tech. According to Uzzaman, check sizes will range from $500,000 to $1 million for early-stage startups and $2 million to $10 million for later-stage companies.

After a candidate is targeted for investment, Denka plans to have a team work with Pegasus on validating the startup's thesis. Still, Pegasus will make the final decision on investments, Uzzaman said. Indeed, a group of partners at Pegasus Tech Ventures, including Uzzaman, Bill Reichert, Steve Payne, John Lim and Justin Jackson and investment managers at Pegasus will be heavily involved in the operations of this fund, Uzzaman added.

Pegasus Tech Ventures has focused on connecting corporates and startups to leverage its "VC as a service" model since its inception in 2011 and has invested in more than 250 startups to date with more than $2 billion in assets under management.

Other partners the VC firm has worked with include Sega, the video game and entertainment company; Japanet, a television shopping company; NGK Spark plugs, a Japan-based maker of automotive spark plugs; Asus, a Taiwan-headquartered computer hardware company; Aisin, a Japan-based automotive firm; Bandai Namco, an entertainment company; Kalbe, an Indonesia-based pharmaceutical firm; and Sinar Mas, an Indonesian conglomerate.