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100 Top Unicorns
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100 Top Unicorns
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The 6 Most Valuable Unicorns in Japan

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The number of successful companies run by founders from Japan and worth more than $1 billion is becoming increasingly hard to ignore.

Particularly when a lot of these companies were only founded within the last 5 years or so.

That's why we decided to put together this list of 6 companies from Japan that have achieved the Unicorn status.

The 6 Unicorns in Japan

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Preferred Networks

Preferred Networks

Preferred Networks specializes in building AI-led solutions that automate and optimize your business processes. They build real-world solutions that solve complex industry problems with cutting-edge technologies including deep learning, robotics and advanced analytics.

Details of the startup:

  • Valuation:

    $2.00

    B (

    May 2018

    )

  • Country:

    Japan

  • City:

    Tokyo

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Founders:

    Daisuke Okanohara, Morikawa Hiroyuki, Nishitoba Jiro, Toru Nishikawa

  • Industries:

    Artificial Intelligence, Biotechnology, Internet of Things, Machine Learning, Robotics, Software

  • Number of employees:

    250-500

  • Funding Amount:

    $152.19M

  • Number of funding rounds:

    7

  • Number of investors:

    11

here

SmartNews

SmartNews

SmartNews is an app that brings curated news from trustworthy sources to your iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.

Details of the startup:

  • Valuation:

    $2.00

    B (

    August 2019

    )

  • Country:

    Japan

  • City:

    Tokyo

  • Started in:

    2012

  • Founders:

    Kaisei Hamamoto, Ken Suzuki

  • Industries:

    Apps, Journalism, Media and Entertainment, Mobile, News

  • Number of employees:

    100-250

  • Funding Amount:

    $409.60M

  • Number of funding rounds:

    6

  • Number of investors:

    21

here

SmartHR

SmartHR

Japan-based HR SaaS company that provides cloud-sourced personnel management software for businesses.

Details of the startup:

  • Valuation:

    $1.60

    B (

    June 2021

    )

  • Country:

    Japan

  • City:

    Tokyo

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Founders:

    Kensuke Naito, Shoji Miyata

  • Industries:

    Cloud Computing, Enterprise Software, Human Resources, SaaS, Software

  • Number of employees:

    250-500

  • Funding Amount:

    $222.34M

  • Number of funding rounds:

    7

  • Number of investors:

    19

here

Spiber

Spiber

Spiber is a Japanese biomaterials company engaged in the research of synthetic spider silk and other protein-based materials.

Details of the startup:

  • Valuation:

    $1.22

    B (

    September 2021

    )

  • Country:

    Japan

  • City:

    Tsuruoka

  • Started in:

    2007

  • Founders:

    Kazuhide Sekiyama, Sugawara Junichi

  • Industries:

    Advanced Materials, Biotechnology, Building Material, Life Science

  • Number of employees:

    100-250

  • Funding Amount:

    $911.62M

  • Number of funding rounds:

    17

  • Number of investors:

    21

here

Liquid

Liquid

LiquidGlobal develops high-end software and hardware solutions to bring liquidity and efficiency to the cryptocurrency economy.

Details of the startup:

  • Valuation:

    $1.00

    B (

    April 2019

    )

  • Country:

    Japan

  • City:

    Tokyo

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Founders:

    Mario Gomez Lozada, Mike Kayamori, Tanaka Masaaki

  • Industries:

    Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, Financial Services, FinTech, Information Services, Information Technology, IT Management

  • Number of employees:

    100-250

  • Funding Amount:

    $158.00M

  • Number of funding rounds:

    6

  • Number of investors:

    9

here

Playco

Playco

Playco builds cross-platform, free-to-play titles for gamers around the world. Their games run on desktops, iOS devices, and across the web.

Details of the startup:

  • Valuation:

    $1.00

    B (

    September 2020

    )

  • Country:

    Japan

  • City:

    Tokyo

  • Started in:

    2020

  • Founders:

    Justin Waldron, Michael Carter, Takeshi Otsuka, Teddy Cross

  • Industries:

    Gamification, Gaming, Online Games, Video Streaming

  • Number of employees:

    50-100

  • Funding Amount:

    $100.00M

  • Number of funding rounds:

    7

  • Number of investors:

    17

here
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