Top 50 Emerging Leaders 2021 continued (in alphabetical order by CVC unit): Naoki Kamimaeda, partner and Europe office representative, Global Brain

Naoki Kamimaeda serves as a UK-based partner and Europe office representative for Global Brain, a Japan-headquartered venture capital firm which manages seven corporate venture capital (CVC) funds.

Yasuhiko Yurimoto, president and CEO of Global Brain, said: “Naoki has been one of the most active and indispensable members in Global Brain and gained lots of trust from our team members and corporate partners especially KDDI, Mitsui Fudosan and Sony Financial Ventures which Naoki has been actively working together with.

“Naoki has sourced and invested in promising and interesting startups with world-famous VCs and led Global Brain’s expansions to Europe and Israel and, via these activities, hugely contributing to increasing awareness and reputation of the CVC funds Global Brain has managed, as well as those of Global Brain and also contributing to the corporate strategies of our CVC partners.”

Kamimaeda leads Global Brain’s Europe activities and is in charge of artificial intelligence (AI), cloudtech, cybersecurity, insurtech and fintech investments globally.

“I have been working for Global Brain for five years and closely working with 31Ventures fund, KDDI Open Innovation Fund and Sony Financial Ventures fund and invest in startups in Europe, Israel, Japan and the US through these CVC funds,” Kamimaeda explained.

“So far, I have invested in 12 startups – three of which exited – with 31Ventures fund, six startups – one exited – with KDDI Open Innovation Fund and four startups with Sony Financial Ventures fund.”

Before Global Brain, Kamimaeda worked for consumer electronics producer Sony as a software engineer specialising in AI and machine learning technologies at its research and development department.

Thanks to his experiences there, Kamimaeda wanted to bridge the gap between tech and business. “I am now focused on tech investments and helping startups create and grow strong businesses based on strong techs,” he said. “At the same time, I can leverage corporate networks to help startups grow faster and further and create bigger businesses collaborating with corporates.”

Edison Fu

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