Having invested in 16 companies and scored two exits, the firm’s new investment vehicle will continue to back edtech startups.

Hideki Kumekawa

Image of Obunsha Ventures partner and director Hideki Kumekawa courtesy of LinkedIn.

Obunsha Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Japanese educational publisher Obunsha, has launched a ¥1bn ($6.4m) second fund.

Formed in 2018, Obunsha Ventures’ first fund was equipped with ¥1bn and focused on education technology developers. The second iteration will invest for five years and target school digitalisation, learning data analytics and non-cognitive ability development technologies.

Through the first fund, Obunsha Ventures invested in 16 companies including online children’s book platform Yondemy, cashless payment service Enpay and WonderLab, which provides educational materials.

It also backed a VC fund and scored two exits when school management software producer EduLab listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in late 2018 and outsourcing service Stadium was acquired by AI technology developer ExaWizards in July 2023.

“We learned a lot and gained many advantages through the first fund, and collaborating with startups has also led to our own growth,” said Obunsha Ventures partner and director Hideki Kumekawa (pictured).

“We will continue to support startups as colleagues who are opening up new possibilities in education, and work together to create a better educational environment.” (Translated from Japanese by Global Corporate Venturing)

Edison Fu

Edison Fu is a reporter and Asia liaison at Global Corporate Venturing.