ITB 2019 Special Reporting
In a World Where Funding Knows No Boundaries, Think Global from Day One, Startups Urged
By Yeoh Siew Hoon
Monday, 22nd July 2019

The good news is, there is more money around and at the early stage, it’s a good time for all startups and the bad news is, at the late stage, money is chasing fewer startups.

“Companies can come in early with traction these days. That’s when investors pile in. But at the late stage, competition is global, fund raising is global – funding knows no boundaries these days – and investors are looking for companies with global perspectives or platforms that can build across borders,” said Phil Wickham, managing director of Sozo Ventures.

Sozo Ventures’ Phil Wickham: ” … funding knows no boundaries these days.”

Which is why the Silicon Valley-based executive advised, “If you are moving slowly against the market or competition, ask yourself, is this a good way to spend your time?”

Investors speaking at WiT Japan & North Asia in Tokyo last week had a common refrain – that startups have to think global from day one, especially in Japan where entrepreneurs tend to want to fix a specific local problem and are very good at it, but do not think beyond Japan from the outset.

“If you are looking at a few billion dollars in market cap, then it’s okay to stay in Japan but if you are looking at more than $10b, then globalisation is a must.”

Mizuho Hiraguri, corporate development at Recruit Holdings, said VCs were also consolidating in Japan and she cited a recent report which listed 1,500 startups and 800 investors in Japan.

Read the full story here

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