I want to talk to you about courage. Specifically, I would like to tell you a story about our investment in Infostellar.
Infostellar is one of our portfolio companies with an ambitious mission of creating a “Airbnb for Satellite Antennas.” Naomi, the founder, hates it when I describe it like that. But a simplistic explanation gets the point across, and the technicalities are beyond me.
We invested in Infostellar about a year and a half ago. The day that Naomi and I agreed on the terms, she called me with important news to tell me. With hesitation in her voice, she said, “before you invest, I need to tell you something. I’m pregnant. Do you still want to invest?”
Of course, my answer was a resounding yes.
But what struck me about this conversation was that she called me thinking that this could be deal breaking news. When in fact, it was quite the opposite. It gave us much more conviction. Here is someone that despite extreme risk and potential adversity, was determined to bring her vision to life. These are the type of people that we want to back with all our might.
Since then, she’s gone on to raise from Airbus Ventures and became their first investment in Japan. She’s grown a globally minded team and launched the first iteration of their product. She’s off to a great start and chipping away at fulfilling her dream.
A lot of this wouldn’t be possible without an inclusive company culture. Naomi brings her baby to work about 3 times a week, and the whole team raises a little Elon Musk at the office. Her Co-founder Ishigame-san and the whole Infostellar team support her founder / supermom lifestyle.
I like to tell this story because it breaks the mold of what we typically imagine entrepreneurs to be like, especially in Japan. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to both raise a kid and raise a company at the same time.
Thank you for choosing to work with us Naomi. We need more courageous people like you.