Here is a concise list of famous venture capitalists in the Japanese IT industry.
Soichi Kariyazono (仮屋薗 聡一) of Globis Capital Partners has a fantastic track record. Six companies out of 13 companies he invested in, like Works applications, are now listed. Kariyazono is an investor in Gree, a social network site which is partnering with AU.
Ryu Muramatsu (村松 竜) of GMO Venture Partners is running a ‘Blog Business Fund’ which focuses on Web 2.0 ventures. Muramatsu had founded Payment-one, an Internet payment provider, which got successfully listed. Probably the only VC with an entreprenuerial record in Japan.
Allen Miner, CEO of Sunbridge, is listed as at #40 in Forbes ranking of venture capitalists in the world. He invested in Salesforce and ITMedia.
Hisashi Katsuya (勝屋 久) of IBM Venture Capital Group, and Masashi Kobayashi (小林 雅) of Infinity Ventures are probably the most frequently blogging VCs in Japan.
Cyberagent, an Internet ad agency, also has a great investing track record. They invested in Mixi, OKWave, and Drecom. Their powerful sales force helped many venture companies such as Webmoney or Drecom.
Also there are bigger and older VC firms such as JAFCO, NIFSMBC, JAIC. Their employees are considered more conservative and do not appear in the media or blogosphere.
If I forgot to mention your favorite venture capitalist, please leave a comment!
See Also: (in Japanese)
- Venture-za VC interview articles
- A blog of Ryu Muramatsu
- A blog of Hisashi Katsuya
- A blog of Masashi Kobayashi
Not sure about outside Japan, but Shin Fukushige is pretty well known in in the local community: http://fukumimi.org
Here’s the URL for Hisashi Katsuya’s blog mentioned above (Japanese only): http://v.japan.cnet.com/beatproject/blog/0,2000071478,000241c,00.htm
Just enjoying posting here as I’m sure it will be a useful reference at some point. Not necessarily world famous, but again some name I know locally are:
– Toru Murakami: Maybe not a full time VC, but an investor in Zooomr: http://www.zooomr.com/about/
– Michael Korver of Global Venture Capital: http://www.gvc.jp/en_gvc/team_m_j_korver.html (4 other partners also listed here).
Also again not sure whether he is actually a VC himself, but noteworthy due to his activities in the venture space:
– Nate Hamaguchi: http://www.itvjapan.com/doing_bus.asp?id=13
Thank you Andrew for those links.
If our readers have other suggestions, please leave a comment!