Japan’s Incubate Fund creates $91 million fund to back IoT startups



Japan’s Nikkei reported earlier this morning that Tokyo-based VC firm Incubate Fund has formed a new fund valued at 11 billion yen (about $91.2 million), focused on investing in IoT (Internet of Things) startups.

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The new fund has raised 5 billion yen ($41.5 million) from Japanese state-run fund Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) as well as the rest from internet giants and established companies including Yahoo Japan (TSE:4689), Sumitomo Mitsui Bank (TSE:8316), Development Bank of Japan, Tencent Holding (HKG:0700), Sega Sammy Holdings (TSE:6460), Mistletoe, TBS Holdings (TSE:9401), Mixi (TSE:2121), and undisclosed several angel investors [1].

While Incubate Fund had been typically an average of several hundreds of thousands US dollars per startup, the new fund is aimed to invest a relatively large amount ranging from $2.5 million to $4 million. Incubate Fund unveiled that it has invested in US-based smart driving assistant developer Drivemode from this fund.

It is often said that IoT businesses typically require more engineering expertise and experience from many industries, so Incubate Fund expects to help IoT startups hire talented people through supply of funds.

  1. Tencent Holding is a stock holding company of a Chinese internet giant. Sega Sammy Holdings is a stock holding company of Japanese major game and pachinko companies. Miseletoe is an investment fund by Japanese investor Taizo Son. TBS Holdings is a stock holding company of Japan’s major private TV network Tokyo Broadcasting System.