Kyoto’s Makers Boot Camp launches $17.5M fund focused on IoT startups

The first Japanese VC fund supporting hardware prototyping and early stage investment

March 21, 2017

Mari Futagami | PR & Community Manager | Darma Tech Labs
[email protected]

Kyoto, Japan: Kyoto-based Darma Tech Labs (hereafter “DTL”, led by CEO Narimasa Makino) which runs Makers Boot Camp hardware startup accelerator (hereafter “MBC”) has announced the establishment of an investment fund named MBC Shisaku No. 1 Investment LP, with a target of 2 billion yen (US$17.5M).
With Kyoto Bank as the anchor limited partner (led by Executive Director Masahiko Naka), the brand new venture capital fund aims to invest in early stage IoT hardware startups not only in Japan, but also in North America and Europe, over a 10 year redemption period. The fund pays special attention to the fields of robotics, sensors, network and big data analysis, medical devices, nursing care, lifestyle, environment and energy.
With the establishment of the fund, DTL aims to further accelerate the pace of investments and prototyping support currently offered through MBC, who already works in close collaboration with unique partners: local manufacturing and prototyping support organization Kyoto Shisaku Net (Director Shigeaki Suzuki).
To further strengthen the strategic leadership of DTL, Mikuni Kimura, former chief investment officer at Future Venture Capital, and certified public accountant Manabu Kuwahara have joined DTL as managing directors. Nobuhiro Seki, CEO of New York City-based FabFoundry, will also be joining DTL as managing director and board member, bringing his expertise in hardware startups centred in the East Coast (New York, Boston and Pittsburgh).
With the launch of this fund, DTL envisions a future of strengthened cooperation and collaborations with financial institutions and a vast network of Japanese famous companies to make Kyoto the starting point for IoT hardware startups.
About Darma Tech Labs:
Darma Tech Labs, based in Kyoto, Japan, was founded in 2015 and it manages the VC fund for seed and early stage hardware startups.
Darma Tech Labs also runs Makers Boot Camp, a 100% Made in Japan hardware accelerator that provides customised support for hardware startups who want to get ready for mass manufacturing with cost-effective reliable partners. Makers Boot Camp is a registered trademark.