Start-ups challenge Japan’s risk aversion

A wave of start-ups is emerging in famously risk-averse Japan as cash-rich corporations increasingly delegate the task of keeping pace with technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics to smaller, nimbler businesses.

Japan has been dry ground for start-ups, given the shame that entrepreneurs and investors associate with failure, but it is on track for a record funding year for unlisted start-ups, exceeding the dot-com bubble of 2000, according to a private research firm.

“The fundraising environment has improved a lot compared with a few years ago,” said Ken Tamagawa, 40-year-old CEO of Soracom, which helps companies set up platforms allowing devices to communicate with each other via the “Internet of Things”.

It raised 3 billion yen ($US25.6 million) from Mitsui

Dozens of companies, including electronics maker Omron Corp and real estate developer Mitsui Fudosan, have set up venture capital funds to seek returns or te…

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