Yahoo Japan invests $20M to attract US startups to country

The Internet giant has partnered SoftBank Capital to bring more U.S. startups to the Japanese market.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor on
The US$20 million investment and partnership will help U.S. startups break into Japan.

Yahoo Japan has pumped US$20 million into a fund to help U.S. startups expand into the Japanese market, via a partnership with Softbank Capital,

According to a press release on Thursday, the investment into SoftBank Capital's early-stage Technology Fund '10, will help the startups at any point in their development, from early-stage companies who need funding to more mature companies looking to expand into new markets.

Both companies specifically are looking to invest in companies in the mobile applications, social media, e-commerce, online advertising, gaming and cloud computing spaces.

In addition to its investment, Yahoo Japan also announced Toshiaki Chiku as its head of U.S. operations, where he will oversee investments and partnerships while working out of Softbank Capital’s Manhattan office.

“Yahoo Japan is making a big effort to expand our venture capital impact in the U.S., and we are firmly committed to helping companies at all growth stages get into the Japanese market,” Chiku said.

He added Japan can be challenging for many U.S. companies, but his company can help with its scale and affiliation with Japanese carrier SoftBank.

According to the statement, Yahoo Japan reaches more than 80 percent of Japan's Internet users through its services. Its investment complements the US$250 million PrinceVille fund announced by Softbank Capital in February, aimed at growth-stage entrepreneurs and their businesses compete in and expand into Asia.
Yahoo Japan is a joint venture between U.S. Internet giant Yahoo and SoftBank.

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