The Silicon Valley investment firm connects Japanese companies – including Brother Global, Panasonic, Subaru and Sony – to US startups.

World Innovation Lab (WiL) , the US-based venture capital firm that helps connect Asian corporates to local startups, has secured more than $1bn for the multiple funds it manages.

The figure includes contributions from electrical machinery producer Brother Global, electronics manufacturer Panasonic, automotive conglomerate Subaru and public-private partnership Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, WiL co-founder and chief executive Gen Isayama told TechCrunch.

WiL has some 30 corporate partners and LPs headquartered in Japan, including electronics producer Sony, marketing group Hakuhodo, newspaper publisher Shizuoka Shimbun, financial services firm Mizuho Financial Group, telecommunications firm KDDI and carmaker Suzuki Motor.

Founded in 2013, the firm has offices in both Tokyo and Silicon Valley. In addition to making investments, it helps corporations incubate spinoffs and provides entrepreneurial training through its global networks.

The investors providing the cash included several corporate backers and the money is being allocated across growth-stage vehicle WiL Ventures III, fund-of-funds initiative WiL Strategic Partners and the funds WiL runs on behalf of its corporate limited partners. Its overall assets under management now stand in excess of $1.9bn overall across seven funds.

“Our mission of helping entrepreneurs expand to markets throughout the globe, while helping LPs accelerate digital transformation remains consistent,” said Isayama.

“Our fund-of-funds vehicle, WiL Strategic Partners, will provide a flow of capital to founders beyond the focus of our existing sectors and stages, while also empowering our LPs to diversify their investments.

“Simultaneously, by helping our LPs manage CVCs, we will marry WiL’s financial and operational expertise with LPs’ deep domain expertise – enabling greater synergies for founders and LPs.”

WiL’s current portfolio companies are mainly based in the US and Japan. Although the firm will not change its geographical focus, it is open to identifying companies from other technology ecosystems such as Latin America and Europe, according to Isayama.

Image courtesy of World Innovation Lab.

Edison Fu

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