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Japanese venture capitalists have a yen for Singaporean start-ups

Venture capitalists ploughed $25m into new firms here in last 2 years

Published on Aug 11, 2014 7:54 AM

Japanese venture capitalists, seeking a less competitive market with outstanding new ideas, seem to have found their new playground right here in Singapore.

As many as 15 Japanese venture capital firms have invested about US$20 million (S$25 million) to fund several start-ups here over the past two years.

The largest deal was a US$10 million injection in online beauty startup Luxola, led by Transcosmos and including Gree Ventures, both from Japan.

Other Japanese venture deals here include a US$5 million funding of voice blogging service Bubbly by Jafco Asia, a $1 million round in digital flea market Carousell led by Rakuten Ventures, and a US$613,000 investment in tech blog e27 by B Dash Ventures.

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Background story


There are many VCs in Japan funding young innovative start-ups. It is hard to find good deals.

- Mr Kuanhua Hsu, a principal of Gree Ventures, on why Japanese VCs have moved to Singapore in search of a less competitive start-up investment environment


Now, we have amazing companies in areas like high-level security management, e-commerce and mobile-based services.

- Managing partner of Rakuten Ventures Saemin Ahn on South-east Asia's attraction as a growing market