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Early-stage Capital

  • Sources

    • Venture Capital – after a lull, players are back in the markets

    • Japanese VC players also Private Equity funds, active around Asia

    • 20.1 billion yen in FY2006, 170% up YOY, more in Asia than USA

    • E.g., NIF SMBC, JAIC, TNP, SBI, etc.

    • As with all VCs helps to go in through an introduction, but they will meet people cold – especially trading firm related VCs (Itochu, CSK, etc.)

  • Level of development needed

    • Company breaking into profit, active in multiple markets, 3-5 years to IPO

    • Prefer IPO in liquid market

      • Tokyo (Mothers/Hercules), NY (AMEX/NASDAQ), or London (AIM)

    • Want to broker business relationship back in Japan (to their investee co’s)

    • Usually need tie-up or relationship back to Japan For example, 3 days of monk services can cost JPY800,000 (US$7,200)

  • Strategic investors

    • Much like JVs, Japanese like strategic investing

    • Looking to extend own products, or use their sales platform

    • Will require Japan agency rights, with small licencing fees

    • US$500K-US$3m are typical

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