Japan’s Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR), funded by the Japanese ministry of education, culture, sports, science and technology, has signed an MoU with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to boost the Indian startup ecosystem.
ATR has partnered with SeekersBase Japan to raise $100 Mn to invest in 20 Indian early-stage to Pre-Series A startups. So far, the company has raised $45 Mn and will be closing the fund by the end of the year. The duo has also partnered with the trade association National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM).
SeekersBase is an India-Japan cross border open innovation and collaboration projection. The project works with Indian and Japanese ecosystem leaders to build a value chain and enhance the intellectual property value. For this, the company relies on service design and strategic partnership.
Interested startups can submit their pitch by 28 March, along with a 2-minute pitch video. The videos will be then viewed by prospective Japanese investors and corporate partners. The shortlisted startups will also be a part of Keihanna Research Complex (KRC) Global Innovation and be a part of the Japanese government-funded cross-border accelerator programme. This is the first time, Indian startups have been invited to participate in such a programme.
Besides India, ATR will also be looking at startups from Japan, Spain, Canada, the US, Israel, and Africa. In total, the company has decided to invest in up to 50 startups through an acceleration programme.
India-Japan Startup Collaboration
In 2018, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Japanese Prime Minister Shizo Abe at the 13th Annual Bilateral Summit. At the summit, the duo showcased their commitment towards working together along and gave an insight into their strategic cooperation.
As per the India-Japan Vision Statement 2018, the two governments were looking to set up startup hubs, facilitating training opportunities and Internship programs, promoting emerging technologies and establishing an India-Japan Business Platform to enhance the exchanges between Indian and Japanese businesses.
According to a DataLabs by Inc42’s Japanese Investors in India report, there are over 50 active Japanese startup investors in India, who have funded 105 Indian startups and 12 unicorns across 136+ funding deals.
Following up, Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), Invest India and NASSCOM hosted a conference in Mumbai to boost the ecosystem, on January 22, 2020. The aim of the conference was to enable discussions and explore opportunities to strengthen the partnership with the Indian startups, tech businesses and their Japanese counterparts.