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Apr 12, 2023
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I am inspired by the potential of startups to make a positive impact on society and solve real-world problems

-Masa Yamamoto, Senior Associate at GSF India

Team 100X interviewed some of the top investors across the globe about their venture investing journeys, startups, and India. Here, Masa Yamamoto, Senior Associate at GSF India shares his responses.

Q1. What is your motivation to be in venture investing business?

My motivation to be in the venture investing business is to support and enable innovation and entrepreneurship. In addition to it, I would love to create a synergy between the Indian and Japanese startup ecosystems. We believe that startups have the potential to solve some of the world's biggest problems and create significant positive impacts.

Q2. Describe your workday and leisure day, how does it look like?

My workdays are typically spent meeting with founders, evaluating potential investments, working with our portfolio companies as well as partner investors, and conducting research on industry trends.

Q3. What is your view on the future of India as a market?

I strongly believe that India is a rapidly growing market with tremendous potential for innovation and growth. As the world's most populous country, India presents unique opportunities for startups to address the needs of a large and diverse population.

Q4. Help describe your investment thesis and ideas you would like to back?

Our investment thesis is focused on supporting early-stage startups in the tech sector. We are particularly interested in startups that are leveraging emerging technologies.

Q5. What are your 5 key learnings from your experience as a venture investor?

My key learnings as a venture investor include the importance of backing exceptional founders, the need for patience and a long-term view, the value of building strong relationships with portfolio companies, the significance of market timing and product-market fit, and the necessity of continuously learning and evolving as an investor.

Q6. Mention top 5 consumer/industry/technology trends in India and globally?

One of the top 5 consumer/industry/technology trends in India and globally include the rise of fintech and digital payments, the growing importance of sustainability and environmentalism, the emergence of telemedicine and digital healthcare, the increasing adoption of online shopping, and the development of AI-powered technologies and solutions. All of us already know these trends, but new trends are coming up continually.

Q7. Top 5 advice you would give to startup founder?

Our top 5 pieces of advice for startup founders include: focusing on building a strong team, developing a clear and compelling vision for the company, prioritizing product-market fit, building relationships with investors, mentors, and founder-friends, and remaining agile and adaptable in the face of challenges.

Q8. How do you support your portfolio companies?

We support our portfolio companies by not only investing the amount but share some ideas for strategic guidance. We work closely with our founders to help them identify and overcome challenges, make connections with experts, and investors, and grow and scale their businesses.

Q9. When you started your career what were your ambitions?

When I started my career, my ambition was to create a positive impact between India and Japan. As I find how the startup ecosystem interesting, I think that startup investment is one of the ways to achieve this goal.

Q10. What inspires you in life and what keeps you awake at night?

I am inspired by the potential of startups to make a positive impact on society and solve real-world problems. What keeps us awake at night is the challenge of identifying the most promising startups and ensuring that we are making the most of our resources to support them.

Q11. Books or Blogs you would like to recommend to entrepreneurs.

As I am from Japan, I would like to recommend reading mangas (comics). Mangas are not only for kids but also for adults. For example, Dr.Stone, Kingdom, Lord of the Ants, and many many more. We can learn many things not only knowledge but also philosophy from there.

 

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