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Business trends

Soccer star Honda plans $100m venture fund with Will Smith

Celebrity pair will link Japanese investors with American unicorns

Japanese soccer player Keisuke Honda and American actor and musician Will Smith aim to pool their investment experience and connections.
Japanese soccer player Keisuke Honda and Hollywood star Will Smith will pool their connections and investment experience.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japanese soccer player Keisuke Honda is launching a venture fund with American movie star Will Smith this month, aiming to raise about $100 million from Japanese investors seeking inroads in budding U.S. startups.

Honda, fresh from Japan's run at the World Cup, and Smith will use their personal connections to find so-called unicorns -- unlisted companies worth $1 billion or more -- for Japanese institutional and deep-pocketed individual investors. Nomura Holdings plans to get on board to solicit investors.

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