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Business trends

Japan's startup funding more than doubles in 5 years

Funds that home in on fields like AI or drones attract investors

Yusuke Horie, left, head of cooking video provider Dely. The Tokyo-based company raised 3.35 billion yen from SoftBank and others. (Photo by Manami Yamada)

TOKYO -- Japan's startup investments soared about 150% in the last five years as companies seek innovative technologies and create specialized funds to zero in on specific fields like artificial intelligence.

Domestic investment in startups grew 16% last fiscal year to 126.6 billion yen ($1.16 billion), according to a survey on 106 venture capital and corporate venture capital firms released on Wednesday by Venture Enterprise Center. It is the first time the figure has topped 120 billion yen since the survey began in fiscal 2011.

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