Exit market the biggest challenge, says Eight Roads Ventures Japan chief

David Milstein, Managing Partner of Japan at Eight Roads.

While Japan’s investment landscape remains vibrant and attractive – with more capital being deployed and new funds coming in – the exit market remains the biggest challenge for investors in the country, according to David Milstein, managing partner and head of Eight Roads Ventures Japan.

“We need more exit options and there is a need for investors and companies to create more M&A scenarios,” Milstein said in an interaction with DealStreetAsia.

Eight Roads, an active investor in Asia, is a global proprietary investment firm backed by Fidelity. It has invested nearly $6 billion into growing companies in the last 10 years through venture capital, principal investments, and real estate investments.

Its global presence spans Singapore, India, China, the US, Europe, and Japan. In 2012, Milstein re-joined Eight Roads Ventures to build the venture capital business for Fidelity in Japan.

Eight Roads Ventures launched its first Japan fund of 22 billion yen ($197 million) in 2015 and its second fund, Japan II Venture Fund, of 25 billion yen ($224 million) in 2017. The Japanese fund invests primarily at the growth stage with a focus on technology, fintech, healthcare, and emerging technologies.

This week, Eight Roads Ventures Japan led a Series A funding for Binfinity AG, operator of a digital asset exchange platform developed by a team of capital markets specialists in Tokyo.

In an interview, Milstein talks about the current investment landscape in Japan, his team’s approach in the country, and the challenges he sees.

Edited Excerpts:-

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.