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Japan's unicorn population a shadow of those in the US and China

SmartNews joins Preferred Networks and Liquid Group with more than $1b valuation

With its latest fundraising round, SmartNews pushed its total valuation over $1 billion, giving Japan a third unicorn. (Photo courtesy of SmartNews)

TOKYO -- The number of privately held startups valued at more than $1 billion is gradually increasing in Japan, although the population of these so-called unicorns remains a fraction of those in the U.S. and China.

SmartNews, a Tokyo-based app developer, recently raised more than 3 billion yen ($28.14 million), bringing its total valuation over $1 billion and giving Japan a third unicorn.

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