Welcoming our newest team member, Kaishu Kadoya

DNX Ventures
Dec 16, 2021 · 4 min read

We are delighted to welcome our newest member, Kaishu Kadoya, who joined us as the Senior Associate on the Finance Team in the Tokyo office.

We interviewed Kaishu about what led him to DNX Ventures.

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Hello, I’m Kaishu Kadoya, who joined the Finance team of DNX in December 2021.

Before joining DNX, I had been engaged in statutory audits for listed companies, audits for startups, support for listing preparations, and financial investigations at KPMG. I am also a hobbyist who enjoys immersing myself in things such as calligraphy and bonsai on weekends.

To tell the truth, I was ignorant about DNX until receiving a job offer this summer; how about working with a Finance team of VC based in Japan and the United States? The more I researched and thought about this team and the VC industry, the more I felt that it would be the best workplace for the next challenge, so I applied and joined the team! I would like to tell you the story and my thoughts on why I joined this team.

Understanding a tree led me to DNX

One early summer Saturday, I was taking care of my bonsai trees with grown branches and leaves on weekdays. It is always a lot of fun to spend time immersing myself in doing something and speculating on things. Spending such time can also help deepen my thoughts on matters that seem to have nothing to do with it.

Since the beginning of this spring, while trying and erroring how to grow trees healthily, I found out some facts: (1) To maintain the health of a tree, maintaining the health of existing branches and leaves is of primary importance; (2) Even if the existing branches are healthy, they will eventually die when the shoots stop sprouting. In other words, the already grown branches and leaves and the shoots compete against each other for water and nutrients, but on the other hand, they are mutually indispensable for the permanent growth of the tree.

Although sounding far-fetched, I see that this idea can also be applied to the context of the economy in general. Neither the prosperity of competitive established companies nor the growth of startups is more important than the other. Rather, each of them is indispensable for sound economic growth. And I was wondering if there was such a business that could achieve the goals for both simultaneously.

It was the moment of encountering DNX when I had such unarticulated ideas. While investing in entrepreneurs/startups and supporting their growth, DNX offers not only capital returns but also strategic returns to LP companies to promote open innovation. And eventually, this may lead to an improvement for a more competitive economy as a whole. I felt the strong urge to do my best for such efforts, and it is one of the major reasons for joining the team.

Cultivated with diversity

Another reason I would like to work for DNX is its team.

I was born and raised in Japan, and when I was a teenager, I was someone just standing still silently when surrounded by international students. After finishing the CPA exam during the latter half of my days at the university, I took classes for international students and then studied abroad for a year. What I obtained through these experiences was a feeling of my thinking refurbished through discussions with people who had completely different values ​​and cultures. From then on, I began to feel like working with a team with “diversity,” (though it is not always proper to put this single word in the context).

This realization is also in line with the lessons learned from calligraphy, which I have enjoyed as a hobby for 15 years. Many calligraphers who are known as the bests from posterity were, while having mastered classical techniques at a great level, never stuck too much to conventional expression methods. They constantly sought new expressions and beauty by taking in aesthetic essence from other areas of art such as other schools, paintings, and even avant-garde art.

When considering one’s career, in my opinion, it is crucial to keep updated to remain active for a longer-term, which is not just to acquire knowledge by self-education, but to talk with others who have different and various ways of thinking.

There are members of diverse backgrounds and expertise in the DNX team. During the two weeks since joining this team, what was particularly impressive upon attending meetings was how frankly each of the members conveyed their opinions from different perspectives, regardless of their position or experience. And the basis of the open discussions is deep trust and respect for each other. It is exactly the ideal team that I imagined, which all of them can mutually inspire.

As a member of the Finance team and of a VC

Accountability is, along with fiduciary duty, one of the key responsibilities for a company that operates with provided money from investors, and it is what the Finance team mainly handles.

The startup ecosystem in Japan made significant progress over the last decade. And there is no doubt that the growth of entrepreneurs and startups is the key to further development. At the same time, I believe it is also essential that VCs, as intermediaries between startups and LPs, are trusted by LPs and thus the entire society.

DNX itself is also a “startup” that aims to be a more mature VC, and therefore, the Finance team has various roles to carry out. But first and foremost, I will make my best effort to establish a trusted firm by fulfilling accountability for investors. Although it might only be of little help, I hope to contribute to the continued development of the startup ecosystem.

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