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Business trends

Startup Japan: Buyouts overtake IPOs as preferred exit

American-style M&A brings young tech companies to patrons like Fanuc

The need for quick funding has been met by such deep-pocketed companies as Fanuc, which has sought to acquire smaller robotics businesses.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japanese startups are increasingly choosing to sell themselves to large corporate groups rather than going through financial markets for capital, moving them closer to an American-style exit strategy.

Although 90% of startups in the U.S. are ultimately bought by bigger companies, initial public offerings have typically been the choice for young, unlisted Japanese businesses. Yet buyouts of startups look poised to outnumber new listings this year.

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