Message from the President
Kanematsu strengthens collaboration with WERU INVESTMENT in a move to accelerate the creation of new businesses
December 6, 2021
We are pleased to announce that Kanematsu Corporation (Kanematsu) has entered into a comprehensive business partnership agreement with WERU INVESTMENT Co., Ltd. (WERU), a venture capital firm specializing in supporting startups that possess innovative technology and business models.
Kanematsu and WERU have worked together in partnership since 2019; the new comprehensive business partnership agreement is aimed at achieving a more robust cooperative structure for investing in innovation in a range of fields, including all of Kanematsu's business segments, and creating new global businesses and startups.
Overview of the partnership
1. Combine WERU's expertise in investing in cutting-edge technology sectors and Kanematsu's deep practical knowledge in various business areas to achieve advanced assessment of investments
One of the priority initiatives stated in our medium-term vision, future 135, is to "Promote and expand new businesses with advanced technology." Aiming to further expand our commercial rights, we recently launched the Innovation Investment Program. As innovation investment mainly involves startups that possess advanced technology, technical expertise is essential when assessing potential investments. For this reason, we seek advice from outside experts in the deal selection process. WERU is one of those outside experts, and we intend to work more closely with the firm to make investments in new business areas.
2. Create new businesses and invest in startups by leveraging WERU's specialty in the field of intangibles
After earning a Ph.D. in the field of intangibles from Waseda University, WERU President & CEO Tadashi Takiguchi has been consistently involved in venture capital and new business creation, leveraging intangibles to create and grow businesses. As a specialist in the field of intangibles in the business sector, he currently serves as director of WICI Japan, which aims to drive value creation through the management of intangibles, as well as vice chairman of the Waseda Intellectual Capital Research Society (WICRS). We plan to leverage his expertise to utilize our intangible business resources more effectively and launch initiatives for driving innovation. Specifically, Kanematsu and WERU will set up a joint study group aimed at creating new businesses which will examine and visualize the human, intellectual, and social capital of each business segment within the Kanematsu Group then match these resources with suitable startups that are supported by WERU.
3. Create new businesses based on hypotheses that cross industry needs identified from Kanematsu's business activities with technology and startup trends identified from WERU's research activities
In recent years, the global economy has witnessed a significant rise in enterprise value generated through innovation in technology and business models, and Japanese companies are facing the critical challenge of adapting to this dynamic global trend. By combining unique hypotheses based on insights gained through WERU's research activities and global business insights and needs identified through Kanematsu's daily business activities, we aim to develop technologies and business models that drive innovation for society at large.
Through this new partnership, Kanematsu and WERU hope to contribute to Japan's sustainable economic growth in line with global trends.
＜Message from Tadashi Takiguchi, President & CEO,WERU INVESTMENT Co., Ltd.＞
Since our firm partnered with Kanematsu three years ago, we have worked together on numerous projects identifying and developing startups. With Kanematsu's valuable and unique expertise as a trading company with close ties to various businesses areas, we have been able to work together on venture businesses while sharing a common viewpoint that captures the fundamental nature of the business. Under our new agreement, we strive to contribute broadly to economic growth through the creation of new businesses in Japan by leveraging the expertise we have gained through investing in and supporting fast-growing emerging industries around the world.
＜Message from Tetsuto Tsutano, Director, Chief Officer; Technologies and Business Collaboration, Kanematsu Corporation＞
We aim to combine WERU's expertise in cutting-edge technology sectors and Kanematsu's networks in a range of business areas to carry out innovation investment in startups with the potential for significant growth 10 to 20 years out. Furthermore, we intend to drive the creation of new value by gaining a better understanding of Kanematsu's human capital, intellectual capital, and other intangibles through the joint study group with WERU and then utilizing those intangibles to the fullest potential.
【Overview of WERU】
|Name||WERU INVESTMENT Co., Ltd.|
|President & CEO||
Tadashi Takiguchi, Ph.D. (Adjunct Professor of Waseda University, Director of The Japan Academic Society for Ventures and Entrepreneurs, and Director of WICI Japan)
65 Kikuicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo Japan
Venture capital and associated support activities
Public & Investor Relations Section, Kanematsu Corporation