Here’s A Strange Practice Among Japanese Startups That Needs To Stop

One of the strange characteristics of the Japanese startup market is that founders often give their company and the product or service that the company provides different names. And it is not even done in the format “Tesla Model S” or “Adobe Photoshop,” where the company name precedes the product name. It is done in a way where the URL and all the branding is done completely separately, where it would be “Model S” or “Photoshop.” I am not aware of anywhere else where this is common.

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When Should You Talk to an Investor?

The other day I was speaking at an event with Hiro Maeda of Beenext, and an audience member asked us when we thought it would be a good time to start talking to potential investors. This person wanted to know whether it was okay to start talking to an investor before he needed to raise.  

This is a tricky question because it depends on the investor. Here are two ways to think about it.

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Venture Capitalist’s Dilemma: Which Companies Should VCs Spend Time On?

One of the decisions that venture capitalists make is which companies to spend most of their time. Although VCs may insist they “love all their children equally,” just like any parent, some favoritism is unavoidable. As humans, we may inadvertently gravitate toward founders we get along with better, or toward concepts that get us more excited than others in our portfolio.

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Announcing Infostellar’s Series A

Today we’re thrilled to announce that our portfolio company, Infostellar, successfully raised a $7.3 million Series A led by Airbus Ventures, with additional funds from WERU Investment, D4V, Sony Innovation Fund, and participation from existing investors. After backing Infostellar about a year ago and watching their progress, we were excited to double-down on this incredible team and opportunity.

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