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Announcing Coral IV: JPY 25 billion Dedicated To Finding Japan’s Next Sonys and Toyotas

We are excited to announce the launch of Coral Capital IV, a JPY 25 billion fund dedicated to building legendary companies in Japan. Thanks to the unwavering support of our Limited Partners (LPs), we exceeded our JPY 20 billion target in just three months, achieving an oversubscribed first and final close. This fund includes a blend of domestic and international institutional investors, strengthening our global reach. We are now able to invest anywhere from JPY 50m – JPY 3 billion into a single company anywhere from Seed to Series C. And with this close, our total assets under management (AUM) now stand at approximately JPY 60 billion.

The Japanese startup industry is nearing JPY 1 trillion now, but when I started my first company in Japan, the annual investment in Japanese startups was around JPY 100 billion, and there were no firms similar to what you’d see in Silicon Valley, a la Y Combinator, Founders Fund, or a16z. Inspired by these firms, we launched our first fund in 2016 to create the firm I wished existed when I was an entrepreneur. We have since invested in over 100 companies, supporting incredible companies like SmartHR, Kakehashi, and Kyoto Fusioneering. After years of building, we are finally nearing the form of firm that I had envisioned.

We consider ourselves the “Ecosystem VC.” In working closely with startups, we understand that while each company has unique challenges, there are common issues most face. To alleviate these, we focus on three pillars: Capital, Talent, and Insights. Our ecosystem supports startups in securing funding, attracting top talent (about 200 hires a year), and accessing best practices for scaling their companies (more about our Ecosystem here).

We believe that the greatest companies are built by founders, not investors. The founders we invest in are exceptional without our help. However, we do believe that we can be their multiplier. We help them go faster and go bigger, while giving them the space to build their companies as they see fit. We are not “hands on” investors nor “hands off” investors. We are “hands-if” investors. As in, “call us IF you need us.” We are there when you need us, and out of your way when you don’t.

New Feature: The Ability To Invest Across Funds

There are only a handful of companies that will drive the majority of the returns within the startup industry. We experienced this first-hand going all-in on SmartHR years ago. We also know it takes patience to build legendary companies. Therefore from Fund III we introduced a longer fund life of 14 years. Fund IV continues with that feature, but adds another twist. Thanks to the trust of our LPs we are now able to do cross-fund investment. This means we can continue supporting the most promising companies from our previous funds, ensuring founders have seamless access to follow-on investments without concerns about how much capital is left in the fund they’ve received capital from. These two features enable us to be long term, patient partners to founders building the iconic companies in Japan.

With increased ambition, talent, and capital flowing into Japan’s ecosystem, we’re excited to see Japan at an inflection point. As the government continues to make progress tearing down the red tape and lifting the weights holding startups down, it is our job as venture capitalists to play our part too. We believe that finding, backing, and supporting smart people aiming to solve hard but important problems is the way to help Japan thrive again. This country boasts exceptional technologists and scientists who, under the right conditions, have the potential to create global enterprises. We are committed to advancing the ecosystem and aspire to contribute, even in a small way, to helping these bold entrepreneurs build the next generation of Sonys and Toyotas.


We’re Hiring!

Over the next few years a key focus will be building the foundation for a long standing firm. We are actively hiring for positions across our Investment and Operations Teams. If you’re passionate about finding and supporting the next legendary companies in Japan, we invite you to apply here.

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Founding Partner & CEO @ Coral Capital

James Riney

Founding Partner & CEO @ Coral Capital

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