Kuroneko Innovation Fund 2 has $51.5m in capital to continue to invest in strategic areas like cleantech, spacetech, fintech, robotics and AI.

Yutaka Nagano

Yutaka Nagao, representative director and president of Yamato Holdings. Courtesy of Yamato Holdings.

Japanese logistics firm Yamato Holdings has formed a second Kuroneko Innovation Fund sized at ¥8bn ($51.5m).

Launched in 2020 in partnership with VC firm Global Brain, Yamato’s first ¥5bn ($46.4m at the current rate) corporate venture capital fund backed 14 startups in Japan and elsewhere, including generative AI character platform Spiral.AI, micro-satellite technology developer Axelspace and Style Port, which provides real estate digitalisation services.

The second iteration will operate for a decade and continue to back global companies at all stages operating in the environment, business and technology sectors, covering areas like renewable energy, spacetech, robotics, AI, mobility, inbound tourism, fintech, ecommerce and digital supply chain.

“This new fund marks the establishment of a system that allows us to utilise the logistics expertise and management resources of the Yamato Group,” Yutaka Nagao (pictured), representative director and president of Yamato Holdings, said.

“With the continued support of Global Brain, we aim for mutual corporate growth together with our partners. We will also create new value and contribute to the realisation of a sustainable society.”

Edison Fu

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