The startups scene in India was flooded by Silicon Valley investors, the Chinese behemoths and a few Japanese giants like Softbank but now several Japan-based venture capital firms are on an investment spree. One of these is the Incubate Fund which is specializing in seed, startup and early-stage investment. With a vision to become ‘Asian Best Practice Hub’, this investment firm has facilitated more than 200 startups in Japan and other countries and expanded its footprint by starting operations in India in 2016.
Nao Murakami is the General head of the firm who potentially leads the Indian operations. This Tokyo-born executive has gone local in just two years of living in Bengaluru. From eating dosas at Darshini cafes and dealing with scathing taxi drivers, Murakami has mastered several native skills. His thesis is that to have an edge as an investor, you have to stay close to your market and your founders.
He is part of a second wave of Asian investors to hit the Indian shores. By deal size, they are shadowed by the early entrants like Softbank and Alibaba. However, they are moving fast without any wavering over investment decisions.
“India is a country that is rapidly developing, on the other hand, it also still faces a lot of challenges. We want to create start-ups together with the talented local entrepreneurs that will brilliantly solve such problems. I cherish both my point of view as a person born and raised in Japan, a developed country with new problems, and also the focal point of view that I obtained in India. I wish to continue to contribute to the development of the startup ecosystem of India and therefore Asia as a whole” says the enthusiast, Murakami.
Incubate Fund has so far invested in Nimble, Shop Kirana, Stay Abode, Skillate and four more companies and is working on another promising idea. Mukarami looks to invest in sectors where traditional investment powerhouses are relatively weak.
Indian entrepreneurs are now going after specific opportunities with Asian Investors rather than getting carried away by the Silicon Valley money, influence, and network as it is always worth and satisfying for startups to seek assistance from ‘believers’ having the same vision and mission; rather than from random investors.
So, if you’re looking to raise funds, say KANPAI!