Japan-based conglomerate Mitsui & Co made a minority investment in Axiata Group’s digital services arm, expanding a partnership between the two companies.

In a statement, Malaysia-based Axiata said the investment has an enterprise value of $500 million and will be used to fuel the next phase of growth.

Axiata Digital Services’ core businesses include Boost, an e-wallet service in Malaysia with a presence in Indonesia; ada, an independent digital marketing agency in the region; and Apigate, an emerging global API platform provider.

The unit, established at the end of 2013, has grown to portfolio of 30 brands.

Axiata Digital CEO Mohd Khairil Abdullah said: “Our shift to be more focused in the three vertical areas has seen our businesses grow at a strong pace in 2018. With the investment from a partner like Mitsui, we hope to further accelerate these businesses, while still being focused on distinct financial innovations for consumers at the bottom of the pyramid, marrying data and creative content for brands as well as enabling rapid growth and monetisation for partners on our platform.”

Masahiro Moriyasu, managing officer and COO of Mitsui’s IT & Communications Business unit, added: “As an expansion of our strategic partnership with Axiata, we are very excited about this investment in Axiata Digital which follows our earlier investment in Smart Axiata in Cambodia. By enhancing close collaboration between Axiata Digital and Mitsui, we are confident that we can support our partners and customers to create new value and accelerate their digital transformation in various industries.”

Axiata Digital recently announced an agreement to transfer the rest of its portfolio, called Digital Venture, assets to an international investment fund (Pegasus 7 Ventures) managed by Gordian Capital at a valuation of $140 million.