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marubeni-ventures.com

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Investments

14

About Marubeni Ventures

Marubeni Ventures (MVI) is a corporate venture capital fund firm of Marubeni Corporation.

Headquarters Location

17-15, Kandajinbo-cho 3-chome Yoshida FG Bldg. 301

Tokyo, 101-0051,

Japan

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Latest Marubeni Ventures News

Japan’s digital logistic platform Giho secures $4.7M for Taiwan expansion

Oct 24, 2022

Yokohama-based Willbox , the Japanese startup behind the Giho digital logistics platform, announced on Monday that it has secured about 700 million yen (about $4.7 million) in a series A round. This round is led by SMBC Venture Capital with participation from Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, Marubeni Ventures, Anobaka, Salesforce Ventures, Golden Asia Fund III, and Mizuhoo Capital. Golden Asia Fund is a joint venture between Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Capital and Industrial Technology Investment Corporation (ITIC), the investment arm of Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI). For the logistics startup, thisfollows their pre-series A round announced in May, which was led by SMBC Venture Capital with participation from Mitsubishi UFJ Capital andMarubeni Ventures. Anobaka participated in their seed and pre-series Arounds as well. The company will use the funds to accelerate thedevelopment of its services to expand its customer base, as well as toenhance its operations in Japan and Taiwan. Willbox was founded in 2019 by Issei Kami. His family has been running a Kawasaki-based company called Koei , which handles large-size packaging and logistics for heavy and precision machinery, for half a century. International logistics of large cargoes for heavy and precision machinery require packing in wooden crates before placing them in containers, and these crates are made by specialized craftsmen each time, according to the shape and size of the cargo. For this reason, unlike small cargo, it is not possible to immediately estimate shipping costs or decide on a carrier for the international logistics. Willbox targets the area of FCL (Full Container Load), mainly for exports. 120 logistics companies are registered with Giho, of which about 20% are packing companies like Koei, and the rest are forwarders, shipping operators, and land transportation companies to ports. Logistics companies spend more than half of their time preparing quotations, but 80% of those quotations will be a waste because of lost orders. Willbox says that based on the information collected from logistics companies, the platform allows shippers to get quotes in about 10 seconds after the data input. SHARE: Fukuoka-based Postalk, the Japanese startup behind a card-based chat tool under the same name, launched the tool’s global edition supporting the English language on Thursday. The new edition was unveiled at the pitch competition at B Dash Camp 2022 Fall, one of Japan’s renowned semi-annual startup conference taking place in Fukuoka. This follows the launch of its original Japanese edition last year. Postalk was founded in May of 2018 by Yohei Kawano, co-founder of Technical Rockstars, as well as his former colleague developer Kiyohiko Hirama. Technical Rockstars was acquired by TSE-listed cloud service provider Uhuru and then shut down the Milkcocoa service in 2016. See also: Japan’s noBackend development platform Milkcocoa now eases IoT and M2M integration Japanese startup aims to eliminate database management drudgery for developers The platform was born out of their experience at Technical Rockstars where their team members were forced to work apart each other between Fukuoka and Tokyo. Although web apps such as Google Hangout and Google Docs existed at the time, they have many challenges in creating a team work environment in a distance. The platform allows sharing issues and to-dos within the team in a way like sticky notes being put on the… Read More Image credit: Postalk Fukuoka-based Postalk, the Japanese startup behind a card-based chat tool under the same name, launched the tool’s global edition supporting the English language on Thursday. The new edition was unveiled at the pitch competition at B Dash Camp 2022 Fall, one of Japan’s renowned semi-annual startup conference taking place in Fukuoka. This follows the launch of its original Japanese edition last year. Postalk was founded in May of 2018 by Yohei Kawano, co-founder of Technical Rockstars, as well as his former colleague developer Kiyohiko Hirama. Technical Rockstars was acquired by TSE-listed cloud service provider Uhuru and then shut down the Milkcocoa service in 2016. See also: SHARE: Tokyo-based Base Food, developing and selling nutritionally complete food products, announced on Wednesday that its IPO application to list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange had been approved. The company will be listed on the TSE Growth Market on November 15 with plans to offer 2,723,100 shares for public subscription and to sell 961,000 shares in over-allotment options for a total of 3,684,200 shares. The underwriting will be led by Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities while Base Food’s ticker code will be 2936. Based on the company’s estimated issue price is 950 yen (about $6.5) per share, its market cap is approximately 48.3 billion yen (about $329 million). Its share price range will be released on October 28 with bookbuilding scheduled to start on October 31 and pricing on November 4. The final public offering price will be determined on November 7. According to its consolidated statement as of February of 2022, the company posted revenue of 5.55 billion yen ($37.8 million) with an ordinary loss of 461 million yen ($3.1 million). Base Food is the food-tech startup founded in April of 2016 by Shun Hashimoto, formerly engaged in the autonomous driving business at DeNA. The company develops and sells Base… Read More Image credit: Base Food Tokyo-based Base Food , developing and selling nutritionally complete food products, announced on Wednesday that its IPO application to list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange had been approved. The company will be listed on the TSE Growth Market on November 15 with plans to offer 2,723,100 shares for public subscription and to sell 961,000 shares in over-allotment options for a total of 3,684,200 shares. The underwriting will be led by Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities while Base Food’s ticker code will be 2936. Based on the company’s estimated issue price is 950 yen (about $6.5) per share, its market cap is approximately 48.3 billion yen (about $329 million). Its share price range will be released on October 28 with bookbuilding scheduled to start on October 31 and pricing on November 4. The final public offering price will be determined on November 7. According to its consolidated statement as of February of 2022, the company posted revenue of 5.55 billion yen ($37.8 million) with an ordinary loss of 461 million yen ($3.1 million). Base Food is the food-tech startup founded in April of 2016 by Shun Hashimoto, formerly engaged in the autonomous driving business at DeNA. The company develops and sells Base Bread, Base Pasta, and Base Cookies through its e-commerce site as well as other e-commerce sites and wholesale to retailers. In February, they had over 100,000 users receiving products every four weeks on a subscription basis. Led by CEO Hashimoto (34.27%), the company’s major shareholders include Global Brain (23.31% through two funds), Rakuten Capital (8.13%), XTech Ventures (4.07%), angel investor Yutaka Kaneko (3.51%), employee Takafumi Shimada, director Ryuta Saito, and director Yosuke Yamamoto (2.32% for each), and The Fund (2.05%). See also: SHARE: Taiwan-based iiiNNO, one of the island’s largest startup backers, Japan’s Culture Convenience Club (CCC), known for its Tsutaya bookstore chain brand, and CCC’s crowdfunding business Green Funding, announced on Friday that they have reached reached an agreement to support Taiwanese manufacturing startups for the latter’s Japanese market expansion. The ceremony was held at the Tsutaya Songshan store in Taipei to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) among the three companies. Based on the agreement, CCC is expected to provide marketing support for Taiwanese startups’ products both online and offline through the company’s bookstores and crowdfunding site in Japan. CCC has been deeply involved in supporting startups, including running its own accelerator program and the commissioned operation of the Startup Cafe co-working spaces in Japanese cities. It has also opened seven bookstores in Taiwan since its first overseas expansion back in 2017. Earlier this year, the crowdfunding launched a campaign of iTemp, a smart mug and smart bowl from Taiwan, as its first project in the initiative. iiiNNO has been running a startup accelerator program with Taiwan Tsutaya. Having collaborated each other in supporting startups across borders, local governments of both Taipei and Fukuoka cities support this initiative as well. Their… Read More Image credit: iiiNNO Taiwan-based iiiNNO , one of the island’s largest startup backers, Japan’s Culture Convenience Club (CCC), known for its Tsutaya bookstore chain brand, and CCC’s crowdfunding business Green Funding , announced on Friday that they have reached reached an agreement to support Taiwanese manufacturing startups for the latter’s Japanese market expansion. The ceremony was held at the Tsutaya Songshan store in Taipei to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) among the three companies. Based on the agreement, CCC is expected to provide marketing support for Taiwanese startups’ products both online and offline through the company’s bookstores and crowdfunding site in Japan. CCC has been deeply involved in supporting startups, including running its own accelerator program and the commissioned operation of the Startup Cafe co-working spaces in Japanese cities. It has also opened seven bookstores in Taiwan since its first overseas expansion back in 2017. Earlier this year, the crowdfunding launched a campaign of iTemp , a smart mug and smart bowl from Taiwan, as its first project in the initiative. iiiNNO has been running a startup accelerator program with Taiwan Tsutaya. From left: Junichi Anazawa (COO/CHRO, One More), Chong-Jie Lin (Commissioner, Department of Economic Development, Taipei City Government), Chia-Lei Chao (Co-founder & CFO, iiiNNO) , and Kazuma Otsuka (Senior Manager, Business Planning Department, Taiwan Tsutaya). Image credit: Department of Economic Development, Taipei City Government Having collaborated each other in supporting startups across borders , local governments of both Taipei and Fukuoka cities support this initiative as well. Their mayors, Taipei’s Wen-je Ko and Fukuoka’s Soichiro Takashima, contributed video messages to the signing ceremony. Ko says, The purpose of the MOU is to establish a funding and access platform between Taipei and Fukuoka, to help Taipei startups connect to online funding and online and offline access in Japan, in addition to introducing Japanese startups to incubation centers in Taipei. We are very pleased with the results of this project. Takashima says, Within the framework of cooperation between Fukuoka and Taipei, the new venture energy on both sides will definitely become stronger and more international. With both sides joining hands in the belief of welcoming new international ventures, this framework will facilitate the energy between two cities. The signing ceremony was attended by Kazuma Otsuka (Senior Manager, Business Planning Department, Taiwan Tsutaya), Junichi Anazawa (Director, COO/CHRO, One More), Chia-Lei Chao (Co-founder & CFO, iiiNNO), and Chong-Jie Lin (Commissioner, Department of Economic Development, Taipei City Government). Also invited were Tetsuaki Miura (Director, Global Startup Planning and Coordination Department, Fukuoka City Government), Mark Pearson (New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei), and Stephane Khoubesserian (Canadian Trade Office in Taipei). <span style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” data-mce-type=”bookmark” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span> Related news SHARE: Unchorlight Kenya Limited (UKL) is offering a BNPL (Buy Now, Pay Later) service called Zaribee, exclusively for “boda boda” motorcycle taxi riders in the Eastern African country. The company announced on Friday that it has secured 90 million yen (about $623,000 US) from Honda Trading and Skylight Consulting. Honda Trading is a trading company under one of Japan’s major automobile/motorcycle manufacturers while Skylight Consulting is a consulting firm affiliated with Tokyo-based IT outsourcing giant Transcosmos. UKL is a local subsidiary in Kenya of a joint venture established in 2021 by Skylight Consulting and Africa-focused seed-stage VC Uncovered Fund. In Africa, financial services are underdeveloped, making it hard for people to obtain unsecured loans. Cab drivers are particularly unrewarded despite their harsh working environment. UKL provides a Rent-to-Own motorcycle sales service to self-employed motorcycle taxi riders. The service lets several riders form a group, which encourages them to repay on a community-trust basis leveraging the visibility of credit. The rider can own their motorcycle after completing installment payments for 18 months. Since its launched back in September of 2021, UKL has sold motorcycles to more than 250 in the first nine months. The company also sells insurance to riders, introduces mobility… Read More Image credit: Unchorlight Kenya Limited Unchorlight Kenya Limited (UKL) is offering a BNPL (Buy Now, Pay Later) service called Zaribee, exclusively for “boda boda” motorcycle taxi riders in the Eastern African country. The company announced on Friday that it has secured 90 million yen (about $623,000 US) from Honda Trading and Skylight Consulting. Honda Trading is a trading company under one of Japan’s major automobile/motorcycle manufacturers while Skylight Consulting is a consulting firm affiliated with Tokyo-based IT outsourcing giant Transcosmos. UKL is a local subsidiary in Kenya of a joint venture established in 2021 by Skylight Consulting and Africa-focused seed-stage VC Uncovered Fund . In Africa, financial services are underdeveloped, making it hard for people to obtain unsecured loans. Cab drivers are particularly unrewarded despite their harsh working environment. UKL provides a Rent-to-Own motorcycle sales service to self-employed motorcycle taxi riders. The service lets several riders form a group, which encourages them to repay on a community-trust basis leveraging the visibility of credit. The rider can own their motorcycle after completing installment payments for 18 months. Since its launched back in September of 2021, UKL has sold motorcycles to more than 250 in the first nine months. The company also sells insurance to riders, introduces mobility service jobs including motorbike taxi as well as conducts educational activities on safe driving. In this particular niche, Kenya-based Japanese startup Hakki Africa is offering a credit scoring-based finance for used cars for cab drivers, which announces 220 million yen ($1.9 million US in the exchange rate at the time) in a series A round funding back in March. Another startup Moove, offering automobile financing for self-employed workers in sub-Saharan Africa, secured $105 million US in a series A2 round from multiple investors including Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Innovation Partners in the same month. Related news SHARE: See the original story in Japanese. Tokyo-based TakeMe, the startup offering marketing and payments solutions for diners and restaurants in Japan, announced today that it has secured 260 million yen (about $2 million) from Taiwan-based New Economy Ventures and unnamed angel investors in the latest round back in March. As far as we can learn from publicly available information, this follows their $9.2 million funding in July of 2018, which appears to be a series A round. New Economy Ventures has so far invested in Taiwanese crypto infrastructure platform Cybavo (acquired by US Fintech unicorn Circle in 2022), Internet of Energy service provider NextDrive as well as Taiwanese startup XREX offering SaaS (software as a service) and PaaS (platform as a service) for crypto businesses. The firm is focused on supporting regional expansion of startups in East Asia. Previously known as Japan Foodie, TakeMe was founded in December of 2015 by Dong Lu, a Chinese serial entrepreneur from Beijing. After attending a university in Tokyo, he worked at Goldman Sachs and then earned an MBA degree from Stanford University. Subsequently, following working at a consulting firm and a VC, he founded two startups and then sold them out. TakeMe has… Read More

Marubeni Ventures Investments

14 Investments

Marubeni Ventures has made 14 investments. Their latest investment was in Willbox as part of their Series A on October 10, 2022.

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Marubeni Ventures Investments Activity

investments chart

Date

Round

Company

Amount

New?

Co-Investors

Sources

10/24/2022

Series A

Willbox

$4.71M

No

3

9/28/2022

Series B

Moxion Power

$100M

Yes

8

11/21/2021

Series A

Pace Enterprise

$40M

Yes

6

10/14/2021

Unattributed VC - II

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10

10/6/2021

Series B

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$99M

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10

Date

10/24/2022

9/28/2022

11/21/2021

10/14/2021

10/6/2021

Round

Series A

Series B

Series A

Unattributed VC - II

Series B

Company

Willbox

Moxion Power

Pace Enterprise

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Amount

$4.71M

$100M

$40M

$99M

New?

No

Yes

Yes

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Co-Investors

Sources

3

8

6

10

10

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