To become a true "Hands-on VC".

To redefine and strengthen our investment strategy. "STRIVE" was founded from such aspiration in April 2019. Our co-partners, Amano and Tsutsumi talk about its values and future outlook.

Work with entrepreneurs passionately and tenaciously.

AmanoOur ideal is to always be passionate professionals, and we aim to be an ultimate hands-on VC to achieve the goal. We proactively support various startups so that they can become businesses that make the world a better place. We hope to embody the meanings that the word "STRIVE" has, such as "work hard, devote, counteract, fight, compete."

TsutsumiWe mostly invest in seed to early-stage companies as lead investor. While looking ahead to the future exits like IPO, succeeding the next round's financing is our mission, and our past performance shows that about 90% of our portfolio achieved to proceed to the next financing. In this world, our efforts go in vain if we don't succeed in the end. That's why we take the risk to fully commit ourselves even if we might face some hardships.

Create a system to nurture "business leaders"

TsutsumiThere are various approaches when we say hands-on; we not only provide proactive mentoring, but also prize the on-the-ground work done by our members. It ranges from preparing business plans and managing projects to advising user experience design of a product. I think the fact that we do the on-the-ground work at such level makes us unique.

AmanoThere was even a case where one of our members provided hands-on support for one of our portfolio to the extent that he actually moved to that company. I don't think that happens very often at other firms. As our next challenge, we are now creating a scheme to provide comprehensive support by hiring PR/HR professionals internally while also involving external specialists of other domains. Through organizing the investment team and the value-up team, the work that the capitalists used to do individually would be systemized. We hope to spearhead this kind of initiative that very few Japanese and Asian VCs have started.

TsutsumiOur ultimate project is how to grow an entrepreneur into a business leader. Entrepreneurs and business leaders are not the same. People who are good at creating from zero to one learn how to manage step by step, and get honed as a business leader by making countless decisions. We get put to the test on how we share the entrepreneurial journey. Our next challenge is how to we would play a multifaceted role to provide the necessary support.

Enlarge the startup market.

AmanoAs a medium- and long-term goal, we want to make the startup market bigger and thicker. To do so, the world needs to be a place where entrepreneurs can flourish, and in the end, our role is to stand by them. We are concerned that there will not be any room for investors who simply provide funding from now on. For precisely this reason, we need to evolve the business model of venture capitals by pursuing the concept of "scale your ambition" which is our slogan as a hands-on VC.

TsutsumiI think whether you are an entrepreneur or an investor doesn't matter when we ride in the same boat and cultivate the product together. Have an on-the-ground understanding, work hard, and help drive growth. The market would not expand without accumulation of such effort, so we will follow through our ideal as a hands-on VC to a successful conclusion.

*This interview was conducted in April 2019.