The Ultimate Guide to Raising Money in Japan

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By Tim Romero: Serial startup founder in Japan and indomitable innovator, Tim Romero: Serial startup founder in Japan, and Indomitable innovator. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
There has never been a better time to be raising money in Japan than right now. Founders ask me about fundraising more than any other topic, so this guide is long overdue. There are links that cover the basics in the Show Notes, and I will be keeping this page updated as new information becomes available and members of the community create new resources. Calling something "The Ultimate Guide" to anything is a pretty big claim, and I'll do my best to make sure this page lives up to it. Please enjoy. Show Notes Results of the "Why Meet a Founder?" survey Directories of Japanese VC firms Japan Venture Capital Membership Crunchbase's list of Japanese VCs The Bridge: not a directory, but a good source of Japanese funding announcements How to pitch like a Pro Dave McClure's original guide to pitching VCs - Very much substance over style The same information in a more readable format Dave's deck redesigned by people who do care about style What you need to put in your pitch deck - an infographic Design advice for pitch decks - more geared towards pitch contents Advice from Japanese VCs James Riney talks about the VC business model and gives pitching advice Disrupting Japan's live show on fundraising in Japan Hiro Maeda on fundraising in Japan Ikuo Hirasishi provides an overview of Japan's VC landscape More from James Riney back when he was with 500 startups Leave a comment Transcript Welcome to Disrupting Japan, straight talk from Japan's most successful entrepreneurs. I'm Tim Romero and thanks for joining me. Today, I am going to answer the question that everyone seems to be asking. Or at least the question that everyone seems to be asking me. I am going to explain how to raise money as a new startup founder in Japan. You know, it’s funny how things work out. I originally planned to write this episode a few months ago as a short-take on a focused topic while I fished up my episode about the history of software engineering in Japan, but the topic kind of got away from me. My first draft and notes for the show came in at over 24,000 words, which by the time I fleshed it all out would have ended up as a four -hour podcast, and even I can’t stand to listen to me for four hours. So I’ve had to make some cuts, some painful ones. This episode should be under an hour, but it requires that I speak in generalities and make a few over-broad statements. There are a few really important topics that I will just mention briefly before moving on. So, if while you are listening to this episode, particularly my VC listeners, and you find yourself thinking that I would explain a particular point in more detail and with more nuance, or wishing that I would dive deeper into specific strategies and scenarios … Yeah. Me too. But we’ll save that for another podcast or maybe a conversation over a beer. Now, there are a few very important questions you need to ask before you even decide to seek VC money. Things like “How do you plan on using those funds?” and “Are you sure you understand the growth-driven management style you are signing up for here?” But, from my experience, relatively few founders really want to dive into those topics. No, what founders in Japan really want to know is how to raise money. So that’s what we are going to talk about. I’m going to give you a clear and actionable plan so that: You can decide which VCs you should approach You can set up meetings with partners at reputable Japanese VC firms You will know how to pitch in the most effective way possible You will have some strategies to help you actually close the round, and get the money in the bank. And you’ll be able to do it all in a reasonable amount of time without going absolutely crazy. Now, I’ll warn you. Each of these steps is significantly harder than the one before, but you’ll be building up your skills as you move through th...

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