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Ajinomoto Co. Launches Silicon Valley CVC HQ to Grow U.S. Investments, Adds New Portfolios

TOKYO, Feb. 13, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Ajinomoto Co., Inc. (“Ajinomoto Co.”), the Japan-based multinational corporation covering food, healthcare and electronic materials, and built on “AminoScience,” (*) has expanded its corporate venture capital (CVC) arm with new U.S. headquarters to grow its investments in U.S. and global companies. The aim is to back innovators in the company’s four growth areas, “Healthcare,” “Food & Wellness,” “ICT,” and “Green.”

(*) “AminoScience” is a collective term for the various materials, functions, technologies, and services derived from research and implementation processes with a rigorous focus on the functions of amino acids. It also refers to the Ajinomoto Group’s unique scientific approach to connect these findings and services to help resolve social issues and contribute to well-being.

Ajinomoto Co.’s New CVC arm in Silicon Valley:

With its new team in Silicon Valley, the CVC arm will strengthen its funding and partnership support to startups while driving growth across the Ajinomoto Group’s food, healthcare, and electronic material business verticals. Portfolio entrepreneurs will gain access to Ajinomoto Co.’s technology expertise in advanced ingredient and material research as well as manufacturing capabilities from fermentation to biopharma CDMOs (Contract Development and Manufacturing Organizations).

The CVC arm has been actively deploying capital with new fund-on-fund and direct investments. Its growing portfolio now includes Translink Capital — a U.S.-based early-stage venture capital firm investing in semiconductors, mobility, AI, healthcare, robotics, and sustainability. The CVC arm has also made its first semiconductor investment in Elephantech — a manufacturing technology company advancing metal inkjet printed circuit boards as a more sustainable production process.

“Ajinomoto is built by scientists and engineers who execute on bold innovative ideas, and we believe there is no better place than Silicon Valley for us to keep our innovation edge sharp and find shared growth opportunities with entrepreneurs,” says Shunji Takehana, the U.S.-based General Manager of the CVC arm.

For the 115-year-old company, the new focus on startup partnerships is crucial for its next growth phase, as outlined in its recently published 2030 roadmap. Ajinomoto Co. intends to amplify its impact beyond food and nutrition and drive growth in other business segments that contribute to society and planet, specifically in healthcare and information & communications technology.

In healthcare, Ajinomoto Co. has a growing product portfolio that includes a biopharma CDMO as well as growth factors and culture media for a variety of drug manufacturing. In semiconductors, Ajinomoto Co. is a pioneer of film-based circuit insulation technology that has become a benchmark component in today’s computers.

For further information please visit Ajinomoto Corporate Venture Capital’s LinkedIn: