Japan's Tokyu Land joined the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to back University of Tokyo’s third investment initiative, ASA Fund.

Kosuke Ueda

Kosuke Ueda, president and CEO, UTokyoIPC. Image courtesy of University of Tokyo.

Japanese real estate developer Tokyu Land Corporation has contributed an undisclosed amount to deeptech spinout investment scheme Academic Startup Acceleration Fund (ASA Fund).

Launched by University of Tokyo’s Innovation Platform Company (UTokyoIPC), ASA Fund‘s first close also counts the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s participation. The unit will start investing through the new initiative and continue to raise capital, including a commitment from the National University Corporation The University of Tokyo, the institution‘s legal entity.

Formed in 2016, UTokyoIPC is led by president and chief executive Kosuke Ueda (pictured) and aims to strengthen the University of Tokyo’s venture ecosystem. The unit has backed more than 70 companies in Japan and elsewhere from pre-seed to later stages through its first two funds: ¥25bn ($161m) IPC Fund I and ¥25.6bn ($165m) Accelerating Open Innovation Fund I (AOI 1).

AOI 1 reached final closing in February 2022, and was backed by leasing services firm Fuyo General Lease, air conditioner maker Daikin Industries, property developer Mitsubishi Estate, advertising group Hakuhodo and chemical producer Zeon. University of Tokyo, MUFG Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Norinchukin Bank, SBI Group and Development Bank of Japan filled out the roster of limited partners.

In addition to startup investments, UTokyo IPC has developed an entrepreneurship support programme, 1stRound, and a human resources matching platform, DeepTech Dive.

Some 85 companies over the past eight years have received support from 1stRound, which is co-sponsored by 14 universities including the University of Tokyo itself, and collaborates with 24 partner companies across various industries. DeepTech Dive meanwhile helped portfolio companies identify and recruit human talent and form teams.

A version of this article first appeared on our sister site, Global University Venturing.

Edison Fu

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