Japan-based venture capital firm Beyond Next Ventures, Inc. said Wednesday that it has achieved first close of its deeptech fund at over $67.17 million.

The firm said in a statement that the firm has established the BNV Fund – 3 (Beyond Next Ventures 3 Investment Limited Partnership).

The fund was contributed by existing investors of its first and second funds, including Organization for Small and Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation, JAPAN, MUFG Bank, Ltd., Dai-ichi Life Holdings, Inc., Tokyo Century (USA) Inc..

It also saw support from new investors that include SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation, FFG Venture Business Partners Co. Ltd. and YAGAMI Co. LTD.

In recognition of its past investment performance in deep tech from the seed stage, approximately 80 percent of its Limited Partnerships are continued investments by existing investors in the previous funds.

The firm said it will continue its fund-raising activities in order to realize its final target size of JPY 20-25 billion ($134.34 million to $167.93 million).

“With this, we will continue working on our aspiration to create deep tech unicorns from Japan solving significant challenges at a global scale,” Beyond Next Ventures said.

The firm believes that the lack of funding severely limits the ability of companies to go global and limits the prospect of producing more unicorns from Japan.

It said that in Japan, while the amount of venture capital investment continues to increase, the volume of later stage investments is significantly behind when compared to other countries.

It said that this has led to numerous cases of deserving startups finding it difficult to secure funds in middle-to-late stages.

In the Fund – 3, the firm is increasing the maximum investment amount per company to JPY 2 billion ($13.43 million), which is roughly three times the maximum limit in the previous funds.

The firm also extending the fund’s operational period to a maximum of 11 years, one year longer than before (plus an extension of up to three years with the consent of the limited partners).

It said these features allow the firm to offer continuous financial support to investee companies in their journey from seed to scale.

With the increased maximum investment amount, it said the BNV Fund – 3 aims to further enhance “Company Creation” activities by focusing their support resources to create unicorn companies on a global scale.

It also noted that deep tech startups, often emerging from universities and research institutions, still lack the personnel capable of advancing the commercialization of outstanding science and technology inventions.

In response to this challenge, the firm works on forming ideal management teams by matching researchers building great technologies with entrepreneurial business leaders from their vast pool of 3,000+ management professionals.

Furthermore, by collaborating with a network of domain experts, the firm is actively enabling the founding of innovative startups by helping them validate business concepts, construct business plans, and secure seed-stage funding.

Envisioning a medium to long-term shift towards Asia, the firm said it is doubling down on its efforts to help its domestic portfolio companies go global.

In particular, since establishing a subsidiary in Bengaluru, India, in January 2020, the firm has strengthened its business presence with local members.

It has also onboarded dedicated personnel to support the entry of domestic portfolio companies into India.

Meanwhile, starting from the BNV Fund – 3, the firm will implement Impact Measurement & Management practices when engaging with all potential investee companies, with an intent to generate both financial returns and societal impact through deep tech investments.

The firm is also committed to investing responsibly by adopting an environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) policy.

The firm established is first fund (around JPY 5.5 billion ) in 2015 and the second fund (JPY 16.5 billion) in 2019.

It invested in about 80 companies, primarily deep tech startups in Japan and India, within fields like healthcare, agri-food, etc.

In the first and second funds, the firm has achieved exits through two initial public offerings (SUSMED, Inc. and QD Laser, Inc.) and five merger and acquisitions (Repetoire Genesis, Inc., GigIndia and etc).

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