Venture capital firm Vertex Ventures Japan (VVJ), has announced the launch of its JPY 10 billion ($64.24 million) inaugural fund, Vertex Ventures Japan Fund I (VVJFI), anchored by Vertex Holdings.

VVJ said in a statement on Friday that VVJFI will focus on investing in leading Japanese startups with high growth potential that have resilient underlying growth drivers, led by talented management teams and will continue to leverage Vertex’s global network of venture capital funds.

Riding on the strong support from the Japanese government and the country’s technological prowess, VVJ was established to tap on early-stage investment opportunities in Japan.

The establishment of VVJ fund models after the success of its sister funds based in key innovation hubs around the world – namely China, Israel, Southeast Asia and India, and the United States.

These early-stage funds are separately and independently managed by their respective General Partners, and focuses on different investment areas in their geographic regions.

As a member of the Vertex global network of venture capital funds, VVJ will collaborate with the various partners and teams across the network.

It is noted that on May 16, 2024, at the University of Tokyo (UTokyo), Vertex Holdings announced a joint statement that it will work with the UTokyo and the UTokyo IPC in the field of startup investment, that the three parties will promote human resource development and research cooperation to develop the startup ecosystems of Japan and Singapore.

The UTokyo is the center of innovation and deep tech in Japan, which has produced many excellent research and startups.

Vertex Group is one of the world’s leading venture capital players that created many unicorns around the world.

VVJ has high hopes that the collaboration between the three companies will drive innovation partnerships between Japan and Singapore.

In addition, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has positioned this initiative as a central initiative of the “Japan-Singapore Co-Creation Platform”, which the two countries agreed to establish at the Japan-Singapore Public-Private Economic Dialogue held on April 17, 2024.

Vertex Ventures Japan is confident that by working closely with the METI, it will become a platform that promotes cross-border collaboration between industry, academia and government, fostering innovation and technological advancement, and providing access to global markets.

“Vertex Ventures Japan is the seventh of our network partnerships,

“The startup ecosystem in Japan is a vibrant and dynamic one which presents many opportunities for growth,” said Chua Kee Lock, Chief Executive Officer of Vertex Holdings.

He believes in the strong market potential of technology companies in Japan such as in the areas of deeptech, digital transformation (DX), artificial intelligence (AI) and the creator economy Vertex Ventures Japan inaugural fund will be well placed to capture the opportunities ahead.

“With the leadership of Takashi Tomita and Tomohiro Miyasaka, both seasoned professionals, we are confident in our ability to source and identify the next era of champions with global aspirations in Japan,

“Leveraging on our global network of venture capital funds, Vertex Ventures Japan is well-positioned to support the development of Japan’s innovation ecosystem,” he added.

According to the statement, VVJ will be led by Managing Partner Takashi Tomita and General Partner Tomohiro Miyasaka.

Tomita and Miyasaka will be primarily responsible for sourcing new investment opportunities, developing and managing relationships with new and existing sources of capital, and directing strategic growth efforts.

Chua Kee Lock will also be the Chairman of Vertex Ventures Japan Investment Committee, with Chua Taik Him joining him as the Vice-Chairman.

“We believe this will set us apart in Japan, as it will give us both the market depth and global scale required to attract and support Japanese entrepreneurs in their overseas funding and growth ambitions,” said Takashi Tomita, Managing Partner of Vertex Ventures Japan..

“Additionally, Japan is the third largest technology country in the world for international patent applications,

“By leveraging on the unique strengths of Japanese companies and tapping into Vertex’s global network of investor-operator experiences, we believe Japanese startups can potentially be the next global champions,” he added.

Tomita, on the other hand, said VVJ aspires to be an innovation platform for cross-border collaborations between industry, government, and academia players.

“The innovation platform aims to facilitate collaborations between companies, universities, the central government of Japan and local governments in Japan to accelerate the growth of startups and create the next generation of industry champions,” he added.

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