SoftBank-backed Japan startup Uhuru said to raise $50m in London IPO

REUTERS/Issei Kato

SoftBankbacked Japanese startup Uhuru is expected to raise at least 5 billion yen ($50 million) ahead of its listing on London‘s junior AIM market on Oct. 23, a person said, just days before Britain’s EU exit deadline on Oct. 31.

The initial public offering will give the startup a valuation exceeding the 30 billion yen achieved at its last fundraising, the person familiar with the matter said, declining to be identified because the information is not public.

While Japan has moved to strengthen its corporate governance in recent years, Uhuru believes becoming the only Japanese firm on the AIM board will better help it attract capital and grow outside Japan, the person said.

Uhuru declined to comment.

“Britain’s corporate governance is extremely strict but should make the company more able to respond to investors,” the person told Reuters.

As part of its efforts to improve governance, Uhuru plans to install Andrew Rose, a veteran Japan hand who recently retired as a fund manager at asset manager Schroders, as an outside director late next month, the source said.

That will bring the number of external directors to seven, including three Britons, with Uhuru to halve the number of its executives on the board to three, the source said.

Last year, Uhuru received a 500 million yen investment from telco SoftBank Corp. Its other investors include Salesforce.Com, Mitsui & Co and Dentsu.

Uhuru opened its London office last year, putting it in close proximity to Cambridge-based SoftBankGroup Corp subsidiary and business partner Arm.

Arden Partners and SMBC Nikko are advising Uhuru on the listing.

Reuters

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.