Japan: F Ventures launches $4.5m fund for Fukuoka region

After leaving Japan-based business incubator Samurai Incubate where he worked as a Director since 2011, Shota Morozumi has started F Ventures, a startup fund for entrepreneurs in the Northeast Asian country, according to a report.

The fund is said to be around JPY 500 million (about $4.5 million). Morozumi will continue to raise more capital from other investors over the next 12 months.

The venture capital fund will focus on investing in seed stage startups, with a cheque size of JPY 5-15 million. It will also target startups based out of Fukuoka, hometown of Morozumi.

The Bridge wrote that F Ventures will soon invest in two Japanese startups. There are also plans of supporting entrepreneurs in other Asian cities, said an official press release.

Home to 1.5 million people, Fukuoka has a good chance of becoming a startup hub like Tokyo. In 2014, it was designated as a “special labour zone”, which allows revising certain requirements needed for foreigners to apply for visas and policies revolving around starting and working at a startup company.

“The lower business cost and the geographical proximity to the rest of Asia are major strengths of Fukuoka, but the main point is that our city provides a stress-free environment – it’s just more livable than Tokyo,” said Soichiro Takashima, the mayor of Fukuoka in an interview with Tech in Asia.

Another startup that is based out of Fukuoka is Japanese hiking map app company Yamap, which raised $1.5 million in its Series A round last month.

In 2014, Fukuoka was ranked the 10th most livable city in the world, in a study conducted by Monocle. The study, however, placed Tokyo as the second most livable city to be in, with Coperhagen taking the first spot. Kyoto also made it into the list, coming in number nine, just one spot above Fukuoka. The study ranked cities according to quality of life, factoring in crime rates and other relevant statistics.

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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.

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.