Why I started Shogun Capital

Jin Tanaka
5 min readJan 17, 2021


Shogun Capital: https://www.linkedin.com/company/shoguncap

Since I was born, my life has been surrounded by plenty of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial opportunities. My parents’ families are entrepreneurs, my both side of uncles are entrepreneurs, my father, and my brother.

Since I was little, I have thought about starting my own business and becoming an entrepreneur. Also, I always thought about the power of business at the same time: cause and effect. If this business does something, what is the outcome, and how it can be influential for society?

Be my friend… Godfather. I wanted to be a big boss-like “him”

My Entrepreneurs journey began a while ago. When I was 12 years, I did “a business” secondhand book’s Arbitrage.

It is quite a simple step. I bought secondhand books and CDs with my brother and sold them to other stores. I had the list where we can buy a book cheaper than other places and the shops to sell more expensive than other sites. That made my pocket money for teen life.

Like him selling a Manga to other stores

Since 14 years old, I helped my dad’s business, retail store all summer evening too. It was not scalable, but it was a great experience for me to work with people older and be financially independent, and have the sense to understand how the business works.

When I was 21 years old, I had an event business, basically seasonal and social events. My friend and I organized together four times a year until 24 years. It was a great way to make some cash, but there was a gap between what I wanted to do and the thing I was doing. I tried to make connections to many people in their real life, and then they can increase the opportunities and network with people they have not met before. Fundamentally, I always believe a human is a social animal. By socializing, connecting to new people, and communicating with them, increases the meaning of life and even just productivity and creativity. This value creation could be widespread of categories: love, fun, business, and career, so on, so force. So this I notice that the power of business and networking power is the one I believe in in many ways.

My last startup, Foxsy, was an AI matchmaker for making online friends on messaging applications. That time was to increase fun, entertainment, and love by Foxsy. It was a social app for joy, curiosity, and love and decreased social isolation from the world.

Since I came back to Japan, I tried to build something for a business match between startups and investors. It always came from my belief in the power of business and the power of the network. Since I had a chance to support various entrepreneurs, startups, and VCs, I thought about using this model to maximize business power. The transition from entrepreneurs to venture capitalists made sense to increase my mission, significantly impacting society. My next passion is to become a matchmaker for startups and investors to support their business activities.

What we, Shogun Capital, want to do:

Co-Founder Sachin Unni and I have worked past few years together in the venture capital industry. Both of us were founders before. Entrepreneurs, we always see problems and needs that founders look for solutions. We do not need to approach the problem as traditional fund managers. We can be creative and improve the way it has been the problems that exist and untouched founders’ needs.

What if we have enough data points for all startup activities and touchpoints with other stakeholders? Can we have data-driven entrepreneurship and more automation? These are a few questions I am asking now.

A human and data-driven approach like Data from Star Trek

First of all, considering dealflow and sourcing, there are more founders and startups than before. How VCs are sourcing/looking for investee is pretty much based on human work. Junior positions find the deal and do DD (due diligence), and once it has a Go-sign, they pass it to the senior team members or partners as the investment committee, aka IC. It is quite difficult for funds to decide the investment because many human interactions usually get involved at the last meeting. However, the first part could be improved as there are so many singles and data from past successful founders. Using the past partners, at that funds can get more deals that may fit their investment thesis. I am not saying that we can automate all workflow and activities. But, there is a space that funds can improve the process of finding investees. Doing this is an excellent way for funds to understand which founders and startups they should back and invest in them.

Secondly, it is a pain point for startups to raise money too. 80% of startups will die without launching their products to the market. The rest of the 20% will try to find PMF (Product Market Fit). But, still, it is quite challenging for first-time founders to raise money from investors. So, I was thinking about what if there is a platform that startups can access to the investor’s lists with partners who are interested in specific industry, sectors, and place for startups. By using the past data, which successful startups raise money from which VCs. It shows the success rate of fundraising of each fund and the match ratio of startups and successful investors. It can increase the fund performance like IRR and Portfolio’s valuation when they raise money for the next financing round.

Lastly, the funds can increase the hit rate of great success for exits, like acquiring and IPO. That’s still I am finding out the solutions that I want to test too. There are many parts and ways to be creative as it has been operated traditionally and regulator in this industry.

For the rest of our journey, you can subscribe to our medium account to get any updates and news from us. Also, there are more potentials that we can improve — each point for both aspiring founders and aspiring investors. We will share the blog here too.

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Jin Tanaka

Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Shogun Capital. Born entrepreneur, a growth master, and a hustler. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jintanaka/