Japan’s Mitsui Fudosan launches $45 million investment fund for startups worldwide

L to R: Yasuhiko Yurimoto (CEO, Global Brain), Yoshikazu Kitahara (Executive Managing Director, Mitsui Fudosan), Akira Sugawara (General Manager, Venture Co-creation Project by Mitsui Fudosan)

See the original story in Japanese.

Japan’s leading property company Mitsui Fudosan (TSE:8801), also known for its Venture Co-Creation Project, or 31 Ventures, announced at a news briefing today in Tokyo the launch of their first strategic investment fund in association with Tokyo-based investment firm Global Brain, and it is expected to be valued at 5 billion yen ($45 million).

Redeemable in ten years, the fund targets seed-, early-, and middle-stage startups in Japan, North America, Europe, Israel, and Asian countries in all sectors, but excluding biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, with a focus on real-estate, IoT (Internet of Things), security, environment, energy, sharing economy, e-commerce, fintech, robotics, and life sciences.

Mitsui Fudosan plans to invest in 500 Startups and Draper Nexus Ventures through the fund, so we see it has a so-called ‘fund of funds’ structure. To support the global expansion of startups, Mitsui Fudosan has partnered with Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator in New York as well as NUS Enterprise, the startup incubation arm of National University of Singapore.

Mitsui Fudosan has been primarily conducting their open innovation efforts at their startup hubs, such as Kashiwa-no-ha Open Innovation Lab, or KOIL, in a suburb of Tokyo. In addition to having invested in a “real-tech” fund led by Japanese biotech company Euglena, the company annually organizes the Asian Entrepreneurship Award to support startup ecosystems in Japan and the rest of the world.

The company says it will form a community called 31 Ventures Club, allowing participating startups to use four co-working spaces at various locations in Tokyo with a single membership. Furthermore, the company will also establish new startup hubs in two locations in Tokyo, planning to curate life science-focused startups in Nihonbashi near Tokyo Station.

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Edited by Kurt Hanson