Akira has built his career in the Japanese B2B technology sector by establishing a US investment style and contributing to the development of the industry. He has invested in numerous Japanese SaaS companies, primarily as a lead investor from the early stage, and has supported their growth as a board member.
Akira currently oversees DNX Japan's investment activities. He serves as a board member for Money Forward (TSE 3994), DataX, Andpad, XICA, TableCheck, Kakehashi, UPWARD, Mazrica, toBeMarketing, TrendExpress, Adacotech, Creadits, Techtouch, ROMS, FLUX, Knowledge Work, HERP, ALP, Shippio. Notable past investments include Sansan (TSE 4443), Money Forward (TSE 3994), TeamSpirit (TSE 4397), Hotto Link (TSE 3680), TerraSky (TSE 3915), Synergy Marketing (Acquired by Yahoo Japan), 1st Holdings (Acquired by Orix), Shanon (TSE 3976), Kabuku (Acquired by Futaba Corporation), Beceem Communications (Acquired by Broadcom), Smart Signal (Acquired by GE Intelligent Platform), and more. Prior to joining DNX Ventures in March 2015, he served as Head of Japan at Salesforce Ventures and Globespan Capital Partners. Before Wharton MBA, he worked at Mitsui & Co. and Fujitsu in Tokyo and Silicon Valley, where he invested in B2B startups in Japan and the US and supported the portfolio company's business development initiatives. In addition to his role as a Venture Capitalist, he currently serves as an advisor to KKR, Pioneer Corporation, VOREAS HOKKAIDO (Professional Volleyball Team), and Tokyo Institute of Technology's Academy for Leadership.
Akira holds a BA and Ph.D. degree from Doshisha University, an MBA from Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania, and completed the Executive Management Program at the University of Tokyo (Term 17). Published Author of "The Corporate Venture Capital Handbook" (Chuokeizai-sha)