Tokyo, Japan (November 2, 2018) Akatsuki Inc. (Akatsuki) (Head Office: Shinagawa, Tokyo; CEO: Genki Shiota), announces Kazuhiro Ishikura’s resignation as Corporate Auditor and appointment as Senior Vice President of Investment & Co-Creation to begin new duties. In conjunction, a specialized investment team will be newly established under the direct control of CEO Shiota to begin the Heart Driven Fund which Ishikura will manage.
Through the entrepreneurial pair of Shiota and Ishikura, the Heart Driven Fund will invest in and support entrepreneurs, including a diversity of talent such as artists and creators, and collaborations with other companies. The Heart Driven Fund will revolve around a wide range of investments and challenge to create new value that “makes the world colorful.”
◼︎Establishment of the Heart Driven Fund
In Akatsuki’s vision of “A Heart Driven World.”, the driving forces for everyone’s happiness are the activities that the heart and soul desires. This vision guides our mission to “Make The World Colorful.” through heart-stirring experiences. As we expand our mobile gaming and live experiences globally, we hope to grow as a company in the realization of our vision and mission.
To fulfill these goals, we believe that it is important to collaborate with many people and companies outside of our own. To embrace the passions and visions of individuals and companies, and to promote exciting collaborations for all now and moving forward, Akastuki has put together a team specializing in investment and inaugurated the Heart Driven Fund.
Having contributed to Akatsuki’s First Section listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, along with his strong background in launching start-ups, we decided Ishikura was the ideal choice to head the Heart Driven Fund. Shiota and Ishikura will be working as a team to create new value through the Heart Driven Fund.
Please note that the Heart Driven Fund is the name of the investment project and does not accompany the establishment of the fund.
◼︎Heart Driven Fund Concepts
To realize Akastuki’s mission to “Make The World Colorful.”, we will promote our activities based on these five concepts.
1. Entrepreneurship Support
Led by Shiota and Ishikura, members with entrepreneurial and management experience will support direct investment decisions. Beyond giving business, organizational, networking and other assistance, as mentors they will also provide investee manager encouragement and moral support. In addition, we also are creating a community and space for investees to gather.
2. Talent Driven
We will actively invest in talent such as artists and creators not of the business world, as well as entrepreneurs and business owners. We will support their talent, broaden their exposure, and work towards the co-creation of value.
3. Emotional Value
Importance will be placed not only on value that can be seen, but also on the unseen emotional value of culture, brand and shared understanding. This will be leveraged by technology and co-creation to maximize the value contribution.
4. Look Towards the Next Generation
We take up the challenge to create value that meets the test of time, looking not just at short-term results, but emphasizing a long-term perspective that creates value to continue into the generations ahead.
5. With Love and Fun
In Akatsuki fashion, we will invest with love and excitement, holding the connections we make dear. The merits of the business will naturally receive their due, but we also care deeply about the ideas and emotions that mean the most to the investees and make the project special. It will be a fun and challenging journey for Akastuki and the investee together.
Guided by these five concepts we will effectuate diverse forms of investment and collaboration.
◼︎Heart Driven Fund Investment Stance
１. Investment Target
The Heart Driven Fund will receive direct investment from Akatsuki. The broad range of investment target includes start-up companies, individuals, companies and organizations.
・Outstanding entrepreneur and innovational field seed and early stage investment
・Middle and late stage investment for anticipated collaboration
・Innovational business creation, Akatsuki organization-strengthening M&As
・Investment in talent including creators, artists and researchers
・Collaboration with a wide range of companies and organizations including joint ventures
2. Investee Support
Direct investment from Akatsuki means that we will not just provide funding, but our Heart Driven support as well, imparting our knowledge and experience from management expertise to technology to organizational structuring and everything else necessary for business growth.
・Mentoring from Shiota and Ishikura
・Creation of community and a space for investees to gather and help each other grow
・Synergies from applied game business expertise and technology
・Support through Akatsuki’s experience cultivating our organization and culture
・Support from business management specialist Ishikura
◼︎Message from Genki Shiota
It makes me truly happy to take up this new challenge in pursuit of our vision and mission in a whole new way with our former Auditor Kazuhiro Ishikura. I of course look to him for his venture business management experience and financial skill, but it is his kind personality that I love about him. Through this investment project, I believe that he will facilitate the support and collaborative efforts of all sorts of people. I also will do all that I can to directly mentor and advise the investees, and hope to bring all kinds of new collaborations together to make the world colorful!
◼︎Message from Kazuhiro Ishikura
To see Akatsuki’s vision of “A Heart Driven World.” come to life, we have launched the Heart Driven Fund! Our aim is that through co-creation with talent from all around the world, we will build new value that will make the world colorful. I believe that we will be able to put our experience to good use to help Akatsuki continue to grow.
◼︎Profile – Kazuhiro Ishikura
Akatsuki Inc. Investment & Co-Creation Senior Vice President
Heart Driven Fund Manager
CPA, tax accountant. In 2005 worked at KPMG AZSA LLC performing audit and advisory work for their international division. Joined Akatsuki Inc. in 2013. Engaged in large-scale finance and IPO work as the Business Administration Manager and was appointed Auditor in 2014.
Took office as CFO for 3Minute inc. in 2015, overseeing the company’s corporate division since its founding, and engaging in business development and company organizational structure. Closed a large M&A transaction with GREE, Inc. in 2017, and continued to lead business growth after participation in the GREE Group planning. Resigned in June 2018.
Resigned as Akatsuki Auditor in November 2018 to be appointed Senior Vice President of Investment & Co-Creation as manager of the Heart Driven Fund.
Ishikura has extensive experience managing start-up companies and a proven record of driving company growth from both financial and business development aspects. He has also personally invested in multiple start-up companies.
◼︎Akatsuki Inc. – Company Profile
|Capital||2,738 million JPY (End of September 2018)|
|Representative||CEO Genki Shiota|
|Office||8F Oak Meguro, 2-13-30 Kamiosaki, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, Japan 141-0021|
|Businesses||Mobile Gaming, Live Experiences|
*In October 2017 Akatsuki founded the AET Fund, a venture capital fund specializing in the intersection of entertainment and technology. The AET Fund targets startups to Series A companies in America, India and other foreign countries to help drive R&D, foreign business cooperation and capital gains.