VC firm linking Silicon Valley to Japan closes debut fund

Geodesic Capital, founded by former US Ambassador to Japan, has closed its first fund with investments from Mitsubishi, Sumitomo Mitsui and Nikon, among others.

Venture capital firm Geodesic Capital has closed its debut fund, Geodesic Capital Fund I, on $335 million, the firm said.

Geodesic launched in May 2015 to bridge the technology gap between Silicon Valley and Japan, the firm said. Geodesic co-founder Ashvin Bachireddy told Private Equity International the firm was targeting $250 million with a $400 million hard-cap. He said Geodesic reached its target in May 2015. As of the firm's February filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the fund had raised $310 million.

The firm, which invests in US-based consumer and enterprise technology companies, was founded by former US Ambassador to Japan John Roos. Former Andreessen Horowitz partner Ashvin Bachireddy and Japanese trading and investment company Mitsubishi Corporation have partnered with Roos for Geodesic. Mitsubishi was also the anchor investor in this fund.

Other limited partners include Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance, Nikon Corporation, Development Bank of Japan and The Toho Bank, according to the firm.

Roos said in a statement about Geodesic’s strategy: “After returning to Silicon Valley, I found this to be the most deeply disruptive and innovative period in technology I have seen in my career and came to believe that Japan needed a much greater presence here. At the same time I saw a surging interest in Japan among the very best technology companies in the US. By launching Geodesic Capital, we seek to establish a bridge between Silicon Valley, Japan and Asia that will help the world’s most transformative technology companies enter these high potential markets, and also help Japan’s most iconic companies establish a window into Silicon Valley innovation.”

With this fund close, Geodesic also hired former Vulcan Capital and Index Ventures professional Nate Mitchell as partner, and James Kondo, former chairman of Twitter Japan and special advisor in the cabinet office of the Japanese government, as senior advisor.

The firm also launched Geodesic Japan, led by former senior executive of Apple Japan Marcus Otsuji, to provide Japan market entry and growth support for the firm’s portfolio companies in Japan.

Geodesic Capital Fund I’s portfolio includes software company Tanium, application delivery solution company Instart Logic and Bitcoin support system 21 Inc.

It invests $5-30 million per transaction, according to Bachireddy, and plans to expand its foothold across other countries in Asia, based on where their entrepreneurs take them.