Welcoming Naoko Tomita as CFO at DNX Ventures

DNX Ventures
Dec 20, 2019 · 4 min read
Naoko Tomita, CFO at DNX Ventures

Why I joined DNX ventures

I joined DNX Ventures in December 2019.

I began my professional career when I joined the Financial Services Agency in Japan (a Japanese government agency and an integrated financial regulator) after having worked in several private sector positions. In FAS, I was involved in the business model of regional financial institutions and promoting FinTech. I resolved to make supporting ventures as my life’s work when I returned to the private sector. I met DNX and was fascinated by the team because everyone was a pro in their respective fields and their incredibly frank and open discussion style that directly and simply pursued the means with which to boost startups was impressive. They were all about being A TEAM. That is how I came to join DNX Ventures.

Leading IPO as a startup CFO, and more

After acquiring my MBA in the US, I worked as a CPA at NY Deloitte, Upon my return to Japan, I began work as a venture capitalist at IBJ Investment, Ltd. At that time, the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers Market was just established, and it was the dawn of IT startups in Japan. I actively invested in early-stage IT ventures, that were founded by relatively younger people I provided hands-on support and went to their office to work with them on weekends. Under these circumstances, I wanted to better understand entrepreneurs and venture businesses. Then, I become a member of a startup, where I was the lead investor, as well as a CFO and led the successful initial public offering. The preparation for IPO included preparing for listing, establishing a business plan & financial model, launching finance, accounting, and IR departments as a listed company. I knew as a CFO, that both financial and business aspects were necessary for the business to grow.

After that, I was involved in M&A and investment projects at GE Capital for business development. I was also involved in the business revitalization at the Industrial Revitalization Corporation of Japan. Though my work, I felt the preciousness of the business and customer base that had been built over decades, and I was able to sympathize and understand how difficult it is for them to succeed. The business revitalization may seem different from the startup world at a glance, however, it is not actually the case. I was and am keenly aware of how difficult it is for a startup to succeed I conducted due diligence, developed revitalization plans, talked to stakeholders, executed turnaround, and made an exit to continue the business permanently while thinking to myself: “How can I revive this business?”.

After the dissolution of the Industrial Revitalization Corporation of Japan, I worked at Bandai Namco Holdings, one of the top 10 video game publishers in the world, as an executive advisor. I challenged the board to implement a mid-term management plan, promotion of Group’s overseas business strategy, alliance investment and M&A for business development. At BANDAI NAMCO Group, creativity permeated throughout and the most critical point was how to leverage those new ideas and products to enhance the corporate value.

I also reached out to major universities to talk to students so that I may enlighten them of startups in general, I wanted them to take on the challenges and opportunities of entrepreneurship and create their own businesses as their career choice while they were still at school.

Three of my goals at DNX

When I was engaged in venture investment at IBJ Investment, I had the opportunity to see firsthand the startup environment of the UK and the US. I saw ecosystems that nurtured and enhanced the successes of startup companies. At the time, I was astounded at the stark differences between Japan and these other countries. However, now in Japan, many young and talented people have started their businesses and various supportive ecosystems are now available. The environment to create a globally active unicorn from Japan is in place. DNX leverages investment activities in Japan and the US, and actively supports the global expansion of Japanese portfolios and the Japanese market expansion of US investment portfolios. I would like to make my own contribution, leveraging my previous experience in finance and business background in all phases of corporate growth.

As CFO, there are three things I would like to do. First, I would like to strengthen corporate finance so that all the LPs who invest in DNX can be satisfied with the quality of the report as well as the investment content and performance. I would like to hear honest opinions and requests. Second, I would like to build a back-up system that can withstand the actions and speed of startup ecosystem creation. Finally, I would like to support the business development of portfolios from a financial perspective. Very looking forward to seeing you!