Seiko Epson Corporation, or more commonly known as Epson, is a leading global player in printing as well as information and imaging related equipment. Its name EPSON actually means “Son of Electronic Printer”. 

In recent years, Epson has ventured into many new industries (including Edtech, Healthtech, AI), and have invested in and/ or worked with many promising startup companies in these sectors. 

Epson’s core values (which translates into their core technologies) have always been based on Efficiency, High Precision, and Compact. And the startups they have invested in – from the technology, performance, and environment angles – emulate that. It has been investing in China since 1998 and has invested more than $ 822 million in promising industries. 

Few recent examples of Epson’s venture investments and collaboration include Kungfu Bean in China, which focuses on learning materials bridging online and offline education. Another collaboration is with Cross Compass, a Tokyo-based AI company focused on AI applications and consulting at the manufacturing site. Cross Compass, established in 2015, sees artificial intelligence as a next-generation core technology. It uses deep learning techniques to analyze data, provide AI consulting services, and develops and provides algorithms and neural networks.

In both cases, Epson led the design of the process that smoothes the operations of the startup companies. It also provides technical expertise and engineering support. 

These successes have steered the company to further expand its investment arm and startup partnership mandate. In April 2020 Epson has set up a new subsidiary, the Epson X Investment Corporation with a 5 billion yen fund (US$50 million) – to invest in new opportunities with startups worldwide.  

Their first target – South East Asia – and Momentum Works is very excited to be their partner in this journey – through the MW  X EPSON Open Innovation SEA Version program. 

Epson itself is not new to Southeast Asia. With its 35,000 employees in Southeast Asia and the presence of more than 30 years, Epson has a comprehensive infrastructure of service outlets, solution centres and manufacturing facilities supporting customers in the region.

What support can EPSON give the startup community? 

EPSON support to the startup community can come in many forms, aside from just the capital investment.

Firstly, Epson has its own in-house R&D experience and strength. They are able to provide technical support to help their partners beef up their core technical strengths for their target market. 

Secondly, through its core business, EPSON has built up a well-established supply chain (incl. Manufacturing, mass-production, marketing, sales channels). Epson can leverage that core infrastructure advantage to support their partners in building up the brand and operations. 

Thirdly, EPSON has more than 40 subsidiaries across the world. Their global reach means global resources for startups that have alignment globally with the EPSON vision. Support could include product/sales/marketing/CS can help to refine, optimize and sell the products or services to the global market.

Momentum Works will be working with Epson to identify the startup partners that are building up the next big Edtech, Healthtech, AI, Sustainability solutions to make the world a better place. 

We are planning a few close-door events, and if you or your friends are in this space and interested in exploring investment and collaboration from Epson, please let us know.

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at [email protected].