The University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners (UTEC), a deep-tech investment firm, announced the first close of its fifth fund, which is expected to total 30 billion JPY (or about $275 million USD) by June 2021. UTEC currently has about $780 million in total assets under management, and says this makes it one of the largest venture capital funds focused on science and tech in Japan, and one of the largest deep-tech funds in Asia.
UTEC is an independent firm that works closely with universities. It is associated with The University of Tokyo (UTokyo), where it has a partnership with its Technology Licensing Office (TLO) to spin off and invest in companies that originated as research projects. It has also worked with researchers from Waseda University, Kyoto University, Stanford, UC Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, Cambridge University, the National University of Singapore and the Indian Institute of Technology, among other institutions.
Broadly speaking, UTEC focuses on three areas: healthcare and life sciences, information technology and physical sciences and engineering. More specifically, it is looking for tech that addresses some of the most important issues in Japan, including an aging population, labor shortage and the digitization of legacy industries.
“UTEC 5 will allow us to provide more funds from seed/early to pre-IPO/M&A stages in Japan and worldwide, on a wider scale and in a more consistent manner,” said managing partner and president Tomotaka Goji in a statement. “I believe this will further help our startups expand (Read more...)