Left to right: Hiroyuki Watanabe of B Dash Ventures, Hiro Motoyoshi of B Cryptos, and JH Kim of ICON Foundation

Japanese venture capital firm B Dash Ventures announced the launch of its ICO fund B Cryptos, the first of its kind in the Japanese market.

The sum of the fund is undisclosed though an earlier TechCrunch report said that it is expected to reach JPY10 billion (US$90 million).

Founded in October 2017, B Cryptos named QUOINE Co-Founder and CEO Mike Kayamori, ICON Foundation Founding Members JH Kim, and B Dash Ventures Founder and CEO Hiroyuki Watanabe as fund partners.

It is led by Founder and CEO Hiroyuki Motoyoshi, a former investment banker with more than a decade of experience working on multiple financing and M&A transactions, with clients in the Japanese TMT space with focus on internet and telco.

In an interview with e27, Ken Kitahara of B Cryptos explained that in addition to being sector-agnostic, the fund will also have a global reach.

It will search for potential investments through its partners’ network and begin investing in June this year.

“What we are looking for is companies that are using the blockchain technologies in an innovative way,” Kitahara explained the qualities the fund is looking for in a potential investment.

“We also do not restrict ourselves to startups; we are open to ICOs by large-scale companies,” he added.

B Cryptos is also open about the number of companies that they plan to invest in, and is looking forward to secure partnerships with more institutions.

“We are looking at it on a case-by-case basis,” Kitahara said.

Also Read: While the hype has died down, data suggests ICOs are racing ahead faster than ever

ICO in Japan

When it comes to attitude towards ICO, compared to South Korea or China, the government of Japan has a more open-minded stance with a possibility of a legalisation somewhere down the road.

In April, Bloomberg reported that a government-backed study group in the country has released a basic guidelines for the further adoption of ICOs.

The guidelines include topics such as rules for identifying investors, preventing money laundering, and tracking the progress of a project; the proposal will be deliberated by financial services agency by end of April and there is a possibility of it becoming a law “in a few years.”

“Regulation on ICO is not something that one country alone can establish. An international framework will be necessary to truly promote this activity and nurture the blockchain environment. That is something that we are looking forward to [as industry players],” Kitahara said.

He also said that blockchain industry players also need to work to ensure a balance between protecting the investors and promoting the healthy growth of this new industry.

“Obviously, protecting the investors is going to be important, but the balance with promoting the growth of a new industry will also be important. That is something that we are going to have to lobby and work for,” he closed.

Disclaimer: B Dash Ventures is an investor at Optimatic (e27).

Image Credit: B Cryptos

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