KDDI Open Innovation Fund (KOIF), managed by Japanese venture capital Global Brain Corporation, announced that it has invested a total of 800 million yen (US$8 million) in four US startups. Global Brian and KDDI, the Japanese telecom operator, will help those startups to enter Japanese market.

The four startups are social learning platform Edmodo, digital publishing and sharing service Issuu, seat upgrades app Pogoseat, and tech media business VentureBeat.

Global Brian and KDDI established the first KOIF in 2012. KDDI lets investees to access its user base or take advantage of the telecom infrastructure it operates. The startups also can join the acceleration programs ran by Global Brain.

The first fund, or KOIF I, has invested in 24 tech startups, with 15 Japanese and 9 from outside Japan. The aforementioned investments in the four US startups are under KOIF II which has recently been established.

KOIF II plans to invest up to 5 billion yen (US$50 million) into domestic or overseas tech startups that “can lead innovations in the integration of the Internet with our personal and commercial physical lives.”

Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com

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