In 2010, 500 invested in our first Japanese company, Gengo. Since then, we’ve gone on to invest in over 57 Japanese companies to date, including Whill, Paidy, TokyoOtakuMode, FlyData, and SmartHR. 3 years ago, we launched 500 Japan as our first Japan-focused fund, with partners James Riney and Yohei Sawayama leading the charge.
Today, James and Yohei have announced their new adventures with the launch of their fund, Coral Capital. We are incredibly grateful and proud of their impact on growing 500’s brand in Japan, as well as on the Japanese ecosystem for early-stage companies and VC. We are excited about their new endeavor and look forward to collaborating with them on investments, learnings and many other synergies. James and Yohei will continue to support 500 Japan and the portfolio, and will always remain part of the 500 family.
In addition to investing in Japanese companies, 500 has been active in Japan through partnerships like the City of Kobe. Since we launched the partnership in 2016, we have led numerous accelerator programs in partnership with the City of Kobe and helped to contribute to the development of entrepreneurship and innovation in Kobe. 500 will continue to be active in Japan on all fronts – investing in companies, bringing mentorship and education to founders in Japan, and deepening collaboration with partners for future funds and future programs.
Congratulations to James and Yohei on Coral Capital, and we look forward to continuing to fly the 500 flag high in Japan!