Attention startups! Japan’s Incubate to launch new fund for seed stage ideas

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Published: April 14, 2019 3:00:59 PM

Incubate Fund, which began investing in Indian startups in 2016 through Incubate Fund India, plans to put the amount in startups by end of this year.

Incubate Fund India fund will continue to back early-stage startups with the new fund.

Tokyo-based venture seed-stage venture capital fund Incubate Fund will raise a new fund worth $27 million to invest in Indian startups this year. Incubate Fund is among a clutch of Japanese investors including Rebright Partners, Digital Garage, Beenos, Beenext, Dream Incubator etc., backing Indian startups actively around 2014 onwards. The biggest backer of Indian startups has been SoftBank that invests from its $100 billion Vision Fund.

Incubate Fund, which began investing in Indian startups in 2016 through Incubate Fund India, plans to put the amount in startups by end of the year, Nikkei Asian Review reported.

The India Fund is managed by general partner Nao Murakami, a former associate at Nomura Securities and partner Masahiko Honma, a veteran in Japan’s venture capital space.

Incubate Fund India fund will continue to back early-stage startups with the new fund. It has so far backed 10 startups in India including Shopkirana, Nimble, Stayabode, Yulu, as per details available on its website.

Incubate Fund — the main fund, which was founded in 1999, has backed 140 businesses (in Japan and overall Asia) including venture funds such as KK Fund co-founded by Honma in 2015. Incubate has exited from 13 businesses so far while 19 have gone public.

The main fund has raised $137.2M so far across 3 funds, with latest being Incubate Fund III announced in 2015 and raised $91M, as per deals tracker Crunchbase. Incubate’s first fund was of $23.7 million launched in May 2010.

Investments by Japanese funds into Indian startups have been led by SoftBank that has invested reportedly around $10 billion in Indian startups so far, the biggest chunk of which has gone into Flipkart, Paytm, OYO, Snapdeal, Ola, Delhivery etc.

The latest infusion by SofBank has been into logistics company Delhivery with $413 million that became one of India’s latest unicorns.

Startup India — startup initiative from the government of India had set up Japan-India Startup Hub in May last year to provide for collaborations between startups, investors and support structures of both countries.

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