Japan is seeing intense activity in the venture capital space, with firms like 500 Startups and Fenox Venture Capital seeking to establish a presence in Japan’s technology entrepreneur space.
Japanese corporations are also increase their venture capital profile, following the creation of a US$100 million fund established by Draper Nexus Ventures, an investment firm based in Japan and Silicon Valley. The fund counted Fujifilm, IHI, NEC, Panasonic, and Fujitsu among its limited partners.
Skyland raises second fund with capitalisation of $10m
Tokyo-based early stage investor Skyland Ventures has raised a $10-million fund, its second, since launching in 2012.
According to an interaction between founder and managing partner Max Kinoshita with Tech in Asia, the fund will be used for seed and pre-seed investments in approximately 30 startup ventures focusing on personal robotics, virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI), and video communications. They intend to grow their portfolio to 50 ventures within the 2016-2018 period, with the possibility of investments outside of Japan.
Skyland Ventures was launched by Kinoshita in August 2012, following stints at Daiwa Corporate Investment and Incubate Fund, an investment fund established by Japanese gaming firm DeNA. Observing that it was easier to raise money but still difficult to secure pre-seed investments, Kinoshita explained that Skyland’s second fund would allocate approximately $150,000 as an initial investment quantum, with amounts ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 for follow-on funding.
Targeting Japanese entrepreneurial ventures or those operating in the US with Japanese founders under 30 years of age, Kinoshita intends to find them through channels such as university outreach programs and weekly open-house pitch events at its Hive Shibuya co-working space, jointly operated with early-stage VC firm East Ventures.
The Bridge raises venture round
Providing coverage on startups in Japan and internationally in both English and Japanese, the media firm organises multiple events and meetups within Japan. Masaru Ikeda, it’s co-founder, claims that the website has nearly 520,000 monthly unique users
Fuji Startup Ventures is the investment arm of Fuji Television Network, a Japanese broadcaster, while PR Times is a public relations firm aiming to streamline the transmission and reception of press releases.
In an interaction with e27, Ikeda shared that funds would be used for talent acquisition and the development of media businesses connecting investors and entrepreneurs.