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Light Street Capital’s Gaurav Gupta On Why He’s Bullish On Startups In Japan

We’ve joined the podcasting bandwagon!

With the sheer number of podcasts out there, I was very skeptical of whether the world needed another podcast from another VC. Yet here we are launching one, and here’s why.

We realized that there’s an opportunity to produce English-Japanese hybrid content that serves as a bridge between Japan and abroad. Due to language and cultural barriers, stakeholders in Japan’s tech industry are exposed to significantly less information on what’s happening in startups around the world. On the other hand, there is very little information being published in English that provides perspectives on the tech industry in Japan. By interviewing people in English, and publishing articles in Japanese summarizing our conversations, we can kill two birds with one stone and bridge the gap.

As more and more global investors are starting to invest in Japanese tech, we thought the perfect first guest would be someone who has been investing in Japan for years.

In this episode we interview Gaurav Gupta, Partner at Light Street Capital, a firm that has been investing in Japanese tech companies since 2011. Their track record includes investments in Start Today (ZOZO), MonotaRO, BASE, and Freee on the public side, as well as SmartHR’s most recent Series D on the private side.

Tune in here on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

This episode covers:

    • How Gaurav became a Partner at Light Street Capital
    • Why Japan’s E-Commerce and SaaS penetration is behind other developed countries (and why there’s opportunity)
    • Why studying trends in other markets can help you identify opportunities elsewhere
    • The unique dynamics of the Japanese tech industry
    • Perspectives on SmartHR and why Light Street wrote a check

If you enjoy this episode, please make sure to follow us on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

*Note that the introduction is in Japanese, but the conversation with Gaurav is in English.

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Founding Partner & CEO @ Coral Capital

James Riney

Founding Partner & CEO @ Coral Capital

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