Japanʼs First ESG-Focused
Global Venture Capital Fund
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.
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.
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 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.
Global industry leaders offer portfolio companies an unparalleled network
Chairman and CEO,
Fast Retailing Co., Ltd.
Former Vice Chairman, The Goldman Sachs Group; Board Director, Paytm
Senior Partner and Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group
Managing Executive Officer,
Co-Founder, Google X
President and CEO, S&R Foundation
Founder and Chair, HALCYON
President, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology
Specialists in AI, healthcare, ESG and other areas, to support deal sourcing, due diligence and company growth
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 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 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 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.
Childcare healthcare IoT and workflow DX to empower childcare providers and parents
No-code multilingual translation SaaS to enable inclusion for websites and applications
Leader in predictive data and analytics for climate risk and resilience
Video-based management support system to enhance organizational performance at multi-store businesses
Pet tech solutions to monitor daily movement and health conditions of beloved cats
A matching platform for the construction industry to solve labor supply and demand challenges
Sales quote comparison and order placement platform that empowers small businesses
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 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 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 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.
Long before ESG investing became mainstream in financial markets, the founding general partners of MPower have championed non-financial factors, such as diversity and governance, in economic and financial analysis. We believe that the thoughtful consideration and integration of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors into companies, including startups, provides them with a core lever for long-term value creation.
With the launch of MPower Partners, we are committed to integrating the highest standards of ESG in all aspects of our own fund operations in order to achieve our mission of empowering bold, globally-minded entrepreneurs providing tech-enabled solutions to societal challenges; helping innovative companies drive sustainable growth through ESG integration; and revolutionizing Japanʼs venture ecosystem via greater globalization, diversity, and innovation. Through our activities, we will promote ESG-integrated investing in the venture capital industry.
Kathy Matsui is former Vice Chair of Goldman Sachs Japan and Chief Japan Equity Strategist. She was ranked No. 1 in Japan Strategy by Institutional Investor multiple times, and her ground-breaking “Womenomics” research spurred former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to promote gender diversity as part of the nationʼs growth strategy. She is also a highly-regarded corporate governance expert, having advised Japanese companies on global best practices during her 30-year research career.
She serves on the boards of the Asian University for Women Support Foundation, US-Japan Council, and The Nature Conservancy Asia Pacific Council, and is an adjunct professor at Kyoto Universityʼs Graduate School of Management. She earned an MA from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and an AB, magna cum laude, from Harvard University. Her book, How to Nurture Female Employees, is based on lessons learned from managing research teams across Asia. She is Japanese-American and also the mother of two children.
Yumiko Murakami is former head of the OECD Tokyo Center, where she led discussions on economic policy issues with government and business leaders in Japan and Asia. Yumikoʼs focus areas include corporate governance, aging society, gender diversity, international trade and innovation. Prior to joining the OECD, Yumiko spent almost 20 years in finance as Managing Director at Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse, working mainly in New York and London. Yumiko also worked for the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations in Cambodia before the investment banking industry. Yumiko has an MBA from Harvard University (HBS), MA from Stanford University and BA from Sophia University. She sits on the Japan Advisory Board of HBS as well as several advisory committees of the Japanese Government. She is the author of the best-selling book, Turning Demographic Challenges into Economic Opportunities. She is also the mother of three children.
Miwa Seki has 20 years of experience in the financial industry. After working in investment banking and equity capital markets for Morgan Stanley, she moved to Clay Finlay, a New York-based asset management company. As head of their Japan office, she managed their Japanese growth equity portfolio which invested concentrated positions in long-term growth stocks such as UNIQLO and Softbank. She is a prolific translator, having translated over 50 business publications including books focused on the US startup and venture capital industry such as publications written by Peter Thiel and Ben Horowitz. FACTFULNESS, published in 2019, became a million seller and the Best Business Book of the Year in Japan. Miwa is also an associate professor of Kyorin University. She earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Keio University in Law and Literature. She is also the mother of two children.
Lisa Shalett is an accomplished senior executive, corporate advisor and independent board director, with leadership and operational experience over her 25+ year career, including 13 years as a Goldman Sachs Partner. At Goldman Sachs, she held several global leadership roles including Head of International Equities Sales & Trading; Global COO of Compliance, Legal, & Audit; and Global Head of Brand Marketing & Digital Strategy. Lisa left Goldman Sachs in 2015 and served as the CMO for a startup media brand and has advised numerous other startups. Lisa also served on the board of Brookfield Asset Management, and worked with Brookfield Ventures.
She founded Extraordinary Women on Boards, focused on advancing board excellence, and she supports Endeavor.org. Lisa has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA, summa cum laude, in East Asian Studies (Japan) from Harvard. Lisa is also the mother of two children.
Masatoshi Fukasawa is a former Principal of Eight Roads (Fidelity VC), engaged in venture investment for 5 years. Prior to Eight Roads, Masatoshi spent 5 years at DeNA as the CEO/Head of Marketing of its mobile game business in the United States, and he also launched a new business as the CEO of DeNA Life Science. He was also responsible for DeNA’s venture investments in Japan and overseas as Senior Vice President in the Strategic Investment Office. Before joining DeNA, Masatoshi spent almost 10 years with Accenture, engaged in management consulting for the communications, technology, media and internet industries as a Senior Manager. He graduated from Tokyo Institute of Technology (BS in Engineering) and Harvard Business School (completed PLD).
Yuna previously worked with global companies on their mid- to long-term strategies and growth transformations at McKinsey and Company in Tokyo. Prior to McKinsey, she managed the global health policy program at the Center for Global Development, a Washington, DC-based think tank, and was a consultant at Trinity Life Sciences in the Boston, MA area. Yuna earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Princeton University, and is the mother of a young daughter.
Xia Ye previously worked as an investment banking associate at Credit Suisse (Tokyo), first in the corporate finance team engaging in cross-border M&A and subsequently in the capital markets division focusing on IPOs and overseas offerings for new economy companies in Japan. Ye was born in Yunnan, China, and she holds a BA from Fudan University (China) and a MS in Engineering from the University of Tokyo.