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New New York-meets-Warsaw VC fund enlists Japanese partner to scout European startups

The VC that has backed startups such as Socure (raised $741.9 million) and Cornerstone OnDemand (now NASDAQ:CSOD) is launching a new fund to support startups in Central Europe. To date, ff Venture Capital’s new “ff Red & White” fund has closed €32 million so far, with an eventual target of €60 million later this year.

The new venture capital fund based in New York and Warsaw will focus on Series A and late-stage investments in startups tackling areas such as enterprise software, industrial technology and sustainability transformation.

The ff Red & White fund will be a partnership with JBIC IG Partners, a Japanese investment advisory firm, which has helped secure several Japanese multinational corporations and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), the Japanese financial institution based on policies.

The fund aims to track down Central European startups that can leverage their expertise in supply chain management, energy shortages, controlling inflation and reducing carbon emissions.

Two new Japanese partners, Masayuki Ohta and Taro Hizume, both of JBIC IG Partners, will relocate to Warsaw as part of the move.

Maciej Skarul, partner at ffVC, said in a statement: “This fund will open up a previously unexplored market for Central European startups and allow Japanese companies to access cutting-edge technologies from European frontier companies.”

The ffVC launched its first EWC-focused in 2020. It now has a portfolio of nearly 20 European companies. This new fund will focus on startups from Germany, Austria, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary.

Founded in New York in 2008, ffVC has a global portfolio of over 90 companies and has over 30 exits.

Masayuki Ohta, Partner at ffVC, added: “JBIC IG Partners has identified Central European startups as ideal partners for Japanese multinationals, given the similarity of the economic structures in which they operate, the problems they attempt to solve and the problem-solving profile of its founders”.

He added that with its presence on the ground on both sides of the Atlantic, the ffVC plans to build this new connection between Europe and Japan.


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