Founded in 2011 as Startup Dating, the website went through a rebranding exercise in 2013, and is now known as The Bridge. It covers startups in Japan and beyond in English and Japanese, and organises multiple events and meetups in the country.
According to Masaru Ikeda, Co-founder, The Bridge, the website sees nearly 520,000 monthly unique users “for now”.
Fuji Startup Ventures, the investment arm of Fuji Television Network, a Japanese broadcaster, had established a US$17 million fund two years ago. Its aim was to create business synergies between portfolio companies and select subsidiaries.
PR Times is a public relations company with a range of products and services targetted at optimising the experience of sending and receiving press releases.
Speaking to e27, Ikeda said that the funds will be used to “strengthen human resources” and build other media businesses to help connect investors and entrepreneurs.
He added, “Every startup community has different main streams in terms of how startups can make an exit, such as M&A in the US, or funding or acquisition by strategic investors in Japan, etc.
“Established companies have a strong presence in the Japanese market, and they typically want to proceed their business development efforts through business collaboration with startups. Through providing opportunities such as our events, we would like to help startups outside Japan reach out to relevant Japanese companies, as well as gain an access to the Japanese market, which I believe will help Japan become a melting pot for the global startup ecosystem.”
Going forward, the Bridge will be organising The Bridge Fes, a startup festival happening this February 2016.