MPower MPower

Japanʼs First ESG-Focused
Global Venture Capital Fund

ABOUT US

  • Mission

    We empower bold, globally-minded entrepreneurs providing tech-enabled solutions to societal challenges.

    We help innovative companies drive sustainable growth and positive social and environmental impact through ESG integration.

    We aim to revolutionize Japanʼs venture ecosystem via greater globalization, diversity, and innovation.

  • Strategy

    We invest in “Tech-Enabled Sustainable Living” industries emerging from the intersection of demographic shifts and technological advances such as AI and digitalization. Our focus is primarily growth-stage, scalable Japanese companies, as well as high-quality, early-stage global businesses aiming to enter the Japanese and Asian markets.

    We will integrate ESG factors throughout our investment process and help drive value creation such as strengthening the leadership team, developing go-to-market strategies, enhancing product value, and raising capital.

  • Thought Leading Founders

    MPower Partners is founded by three General Partners with over 70 years of combined operational and managerial experience in global finance, especially asset management, investment research, investment banking, and equities distribution.

    Each founder brings decades of analytical expertise in ESG-related matters, including corporate governance, diversity and sustainability, and combined with their extensive public markets knowledge, MPower Partners is uniquely positioned to drive ESG integration in Japanʼs venture capital ecosystem.

  • MPower Story

    MPower Partners is named after the three foundersʼ maiden names which all start with the letter “M.” It also means to “empower” entrepreneurs and to believe in the power of “En,” which means a circle or ecosystem in Japanese.

TEAM

External Advisors

Global industry leaders offer portfolio companies an unparalleled network

Tadashi Yanai

Japan

Chairman and CEO,
Fast Retailing Co., Ltd.

Mark Schwartz

USA

Former Vice Chairman, The Goldman Sachs Group; Board Director, Paytm

Miki Tsusaka

Japan

Senior Partner and Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group

Yoky Matsuoka

USA/Japan

Managing Executive Officer,
Panasonic;
Former CTO,
Nest;
Co-Founder, Google X

Dr. Sachiko Kuno

USA/Japan

President and CEO, S&R Foundation
Founder and Chair, HALCYON

Dr. Peter Gruss

Germany/Japan

President, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology

Industry Experts

Specialists in AI, healthcare, ESG and other areas, to support deal sourcing, due diligence and company growth

Simeon Bochev picture

Simeon Bochev

Simeon is Head of Operations for Appleʼs Search, Knowledge and Platform division within AI/ML. Previously, he started a successful AI company in Japan and was the President of APAC for a US-based data science firm as well as a technical consultant and engineer. Simeon holds an MBA from Harvard University, an M.S. in Finance and a B.S. in Electrical Computer Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

Trista Bridges picture

Trista Bridges

Trista is a sustainable business expert, with extensive experience in life sciences, consumer products, financial services, and digital technology. Trista also co-founded a pioneering media tech startup in France and Read the Air, a firm specializing in sustainability/ESG principles. She is co-author of the book, Leading Sustainably, published in 2020. Trista holds an MBA from Northwestern University and a BS from University of Pennsylvania.

Paul N. Matsui picture

Paul N. Matsui

Paul is the founder of The Antigrav Group and draws from more than 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry, specializing in provider finance, clinical technology/innovation, strategic planning, and healthcare analytics. Previously, Paul was with the Advisory Board Company, a division of Optum, Inc., as an Executive Director. Paul holds an AB in biochemistry and molecular biology from Harvard University.

Kanoko Oishi picture

Kanoko Oishi

Kanoko is the founder of Mediva, Inc. and Platanus Medical Corp. The mission of her companies is to promote innovative, patient-centric healthcare services. Previously, Kanoko was a partner and co-leader of the Healthcare division of McKinsey Japan.
She serves on several advisory committees of the Japanese Government. Kanoko holds an MBA from Harvard University and a BA from Osaka University.

PORTFOLIO

  • UniFa

    Childcare healthcare IoT and workflow DX to empower childcare providers and parents

  • WOVN Technologies

    No-code multilingual translation SaaS to enable inclusion for websites and applications

  • Jupiter Intelligence

    Leader in predictive data and analytics for climate risk and resilience

WHY ESG

  • ESG funds outperform

    77% of US-based sustainable equity mutual funds ranked in the top half and 40% in the top quartile of all equity funds during 2016-2020.

    Higher ESG characteristics are associated with lower costs of capital and higher quality profitability. We believe that incorporating ESG factors into the startup investment process can also enhance returns.

  • ESG becoming mainstream

    ESG fund assets are estimated to grow by $15-20 trillion over the next two decades, equivalent to the size of the S&P500 today (as of 2021).

    Investors rapidly migrating from ʻshareholderʼ to ʻstakeholderʼ capitalism; 2020/COVID-19 was a turning point for public health and inequality. Venture investing is no exception to this trend.

  • ESG captures material,
    non-financial risks

    ESG considerations can identify risks not easily captured by conventional financial metrics; therefore assessment of material ESG risks is necessary to determine the true risk-adjusted return potential of an investment. For startups in particular, a lack of ESG focus can be the most critical risk factor.

  • ESG definitions evolving

    ESG is not just about negative screening anymore; definitions now include positive actions on product safety, community impact, labor policy, data security/privacy.

    Rapidly-changing nature of ESG materiality demands greater focus and diligence depth.

APPROACH

ESG is core to our investment thesis and we integrate ESG principles in every stage of our investment process.

In deal sourcing, we identify investment opportunities that promote tech-enabled sustainable living, while excluding anti-ESG sectors (e.g., tobacco, gambling, fossil fuels). We look for an ESG-aligned mindset within leadership teams. We enable access for diverse founding teams.

In due diligence, alongside our fundamental assessment of a business, we also conduct a high-level ESG evaluation, in order to understand where ESG-related risks may lie and how we can help add value in the company’s ESG integration process. In order to ensure that the founders are committed to their ESG agenda, we request them to sign an ESG Memorandum Of Understanding.

Post investment, we provide hands-on support for each of our portfolio companies to determine the most material ESG factors for their businesses, and based on these, we help them create an ESG roadmap. We then maintain a continuous dialogue with each company regarding their roadmaps and closely monitor their progress.

Furthermore, ESG principles are embedded in MPower Partner’s own operations and on June 26, 2021, we became an official signatory of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI).