Japan Unicorns

Top 5 Unicorn Startups from Japan

Here’s a complete list of unicorn companies founded in Japan, such as Preferred Networks and Paidy.

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The number of successful companies run by Japanese people 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.

Given the excitement surrounding Japan's venture capital industry, it got us thinking about the unicorn companies — a term for startups worth more than $1 billion — that have been founded in Japan.

We decided to put together this list of 5 companies from Japan that have achieved this status.

Top 5 Unicorn Startups from Japan

Liquid Global

Liquid Global

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:

    Kayamori Kariya, 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:

    $2,894,970,090

  • Number of funding rounds:

    6

  • Number of investors:

    8

here

Paidy

Paidy

Paidy is a one-of-a-kind payment solution which enables consumers to pay online without having to register an account or using a credit card. A one-time token is required for every transaction, thereby eliminating the need to create an account or provide credit/debit card information. This improves the customer experience and security of the site.

Details of the startup:

  • Valuation:

    $1.20

    B (

    March 2021

    )

  • Country:

    Japan

  • City:

    Minato

  • Started in:

    2008

  • Founders:

    Lee Smith, Russell Cummer

  • Industries:

    Finance, Financial Services, FinTech, Payments

  • Number of employees:

    100-250

  • Funding Amount:

    $397,886,945

  • Number of funding rounds:

    11

  • Number of investors:

    25

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:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $100,000,000

  • Number of funding rounds:

    5

  • Number of investors:

    14

here

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, 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:

    $2,052,375,830

  • Number of funding rounds:

    7

  • Number of investors:

    10

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:

    $1.20

    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:

    $180,285,113

  • Number of funding rounds:

    5

  • Number of investors:

    16

here
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