Beyond Next Ventures: Pioneering Deep Tech Investments In Asia

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Beyond Next Ventures - Startup Investment

Tokyo-based Beyond Next Ventures is making waves in the venture capital world with its focus on early-stage, Asian deep tech startups. Here’s a closer look at their recent achievements and future plans.

A Bold First Close for BNV Fund 3

Beyond Next Ventures (BNV) recently announced a first close of ¥10 billion (approximately $67.7 million) for its third fund, BNV Fund 3. This fund aims to raise up to ¥25 billion (about $168 million) and will be directed towards deep tech startups specializing in areas like robotics and biotech.

Investment Strategy and Vision

BNV’s CEO, Tsuyoshi Ito, revealed that the firm plans to finalize the fund by March 2024. The funds will be allocated across seed, Series A, and later-stage rounds in approximately 25 companies. Each investment will range between $670,000 and $2 million, with the potential to invest up to $13 million across multiple rounds for a single company. This represents a significant increase from their previous funds.

Addressing the Funding Gap in Japan

One of the challenges faced by Japanese startups is the lack of later-stage funding, which often restricts their global reach and impacts valuations. A 2021 World Bank report highlighted that Japan lags behind Europe and North America in terms of later-stage investments. Ito attributes this to limited participation from institutional investors in VC firms and the Tokyo Stock Exchange Growth Market’s structure, which often pushes startups towards early IPOs.

However, Ito notes a positive shift, with increased funding for middle to later-stage startups, reducing the rush for startups to go public.

Beyond Next’s Global Vision

Beyond Next is not just focused on Japan. They aim to provide continuous financial support to startups worldwide. Their strategy includes increasing later-stage investments, such as Series C and Series D, and offering additional follow-on investments. They also plan to extend the fund’s operational period to 11 years, with a possible extension of up to three years.

Collaboration with Universities and Research Institutions

BNV has a keen interest in deep tech startups emerging from academic settings. They collaborate with universities and research institutions, helping to commercialize innovative technological and scientific inventions. To achieve this, BNV connects research teams with a vast network of over 3,000 business and management experts.

A Growing Portfolio and Global Presence

With the latest fund, BNV’s assets under management will exceed $316 million. Their limited partners for BNV Fund 3 include prominent names like MUFG Bank, Dai-ichi Life Holdings, and Tokyo Century, among others.

In 2020, BNV expanded its reach by opening a regional office in India, recognizing the country’s rapidly growing startup market. Since its inception in 2015, BNV has invested in nearly 80 companies across healthcare, agri-food, and deep tech sectors in both Japan and India.

Spotlight on Successful Investments

BNV’s portfolio boasts several success stories. For instance, CureApp, a digital therapeutics company, secured about ¥7 billion ($47 million) from Carlyle last year. Another portfolio company, Susmed, which developed a therapeutic app for insomnia patients, became the first Japanese IPO in the digital healthcare sector.

Beyond Next Ventures is at the forefront of deep tech investments in Asia, with a clear vision and strategy to support startups from early to later stages. Their commitment to bridging the funding gap in Japan and expanding their global footprint makes them a significant player in the venture capital landscape.

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