angel investment in japan

Angel Investment in Japan with Yuki Shirato

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Episode Summary

Angel investment in Japan is becoming more popular, and in this episode of Scaling Japan we are joined by Yuki Shirato who is an investment lawyer that works in M&A and runs Yakumi.co, a Japanese angel syndicate that works with foreign companies. Yuki Shirato talks about how he got into his career and shares his experience as an angel investor. He further delves into what exactly angel investing is, what kind of businesses it is suitable for and what profiles investors are looking for.

This podcast episode is excellent for :

  • People who are interested in learning more about angel investing
  • Companies looking for methods to help scale their businesses
  • Companies in Japan interested in angel investors

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Links from Guest Appearance

  • Find out more about Yuki Shirato on his LinkedIn
  • Reach out to Yakumi.co if you’re interested in angel investing in Japan

Show Notes on Angel Investment in Japan

(0:45) Yuki Shirato’s self introduction

(1:40) How Yuki Shirato became an angel investor

(3:50) What is an angel syndicate

(6:27) Types of business that are and aren’t suitable for angel investment

(8:01) 3 stages of the early business stage in Japan

(13:08) Difference between a start up and normal business

(15:06) What types of data metrics do angel investors look for

(16:27) Angel investment in Japan

(20:50) Characteristics of founders who have scaled successfully

(26:28) Characteristics of founders that were unsuccessful in scaling

Thinking about receiving angel investment in Japan?

Some key points to know about angel investors in Japan is that there are individual angel investors and angel syndicate groups in Japan. Most of people who are individual angel investors are either high net-worth individuals and also founders who have successfully exited and now use that capital to invest. Individuals angels can be a solid resource for providing introductions to VCs, which angel syndicates can also do, but are also likely to help you with connecting with sales distribution networks, co-founders, and more.

Angel syndicates also have high net-worth individuals and the advantage is that you can sometimes get several people to help assist your company instead of one, but this is case by case and does not apply to everyone.

How to meet angel investors in Japan?

There are some blog posts with the names of angel investors in Japan, but I am not sure if they actually got permission to add them. You can also check a venture investment database like crunchbase or the Japanese equivalent initial.inc to find angel investment in Japan for your specific industry or vertical.

For foreign angel investors, you can reach out to them directly and have some success, but it is often better to go through an introductions. They are often busy and if they are really crunched for time, you may get a no prematurely. For Japanese angel investors, the need for an introduction is definitely needed. You may get lucky without one could argue, if there is someone you really want on your team, then you would go through the trouble of getting an introduction!

One good thing to know when reaching out to them is why you would like them to invest in your company. Is there any unique insight, industry knowledge, or connections you need to make your business a sucess?

Pitch Contests

Another good place to meet angel investors for angel investment in Japan are pitch contests in Japan. Even if they are not there, they are likely to have friends in the audience who would reach out to them if they think you are a match for their angel investor friend.

Angel Investor and Venture Capitalist List

Here is a google spreadsheet list of 60 venture capital, accelerators, and angel investors you can leverage to scale your business in Japan. The list is also sorted by industry and investment stages they participate in.


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