Welcoming Yurika Imuta as Investment VP at DNX Ventures
We welcome our newest member to the DNX family, Yurika Imuta. She joined us as an Investment Vice President in our Tokyo Office. She comes to DNX with experience working in auditing at JP Morgan in Tokyo and NY, and she also experienced going public at a startup and conducting M&A between U.S. and large Japanese startups. Yurika looks forward to contributing to the Japanese startup ecosystem with her plethora of experience.
We asked Yurika about her past experiences and what she’s looking forward to at DNX Ventures.
Hi, My name is Yurika Imuta and I joined the Investment team at DNX Ventures based in Tokyo.
I was born and raised in Okinawa, a tropical southern island of Japan. My career background is a combination of ten years at JP Morgan, both in Tokyo and New York, and over six years at VisasQ Inc, the first expert network service founded in Japan.
From internal audit to marketing at a global financial institution.
In 2003, I started my career at the Internal Audit Department of JPMorgan. I was mainly responsible for the business audits of the fixed income and equity departments, but also conducted many regulatory compliance audits in the region including an on-site review in Bangalore, India where the KYC/AML hub operation was located for the global investment banking businesses.
In 2006, I was relocated to the NY Headquarter office for two years, when the subprime mortgage crisis was becoming apparent and the situation was worsening by the minute. It was a great experience for me to see how the management made decisions in the crisis, which seems to be similar to the current severe market situation.
I then transferred to the Marketing team of the Asset Management Division at JPMorgan. I was responsible for retail business marketing, which offers investment funds to individual investors through banks and securities firms as its sales channel. It was a big career change attempt for me from auditing, to making advertising content for publicity, organizing hotel events, etc.
Having both the auditing and marketing experiences helped me cultivate both the “management and marketing perspectives” which were important cornerstones in building and expanding a platform business overseas at VisasQ, as a publicly listed company.
My transition to a startup began with an application for a part-time position
In 2016, I joined VisasQ when it only had 10 employees, as the business head of the Concierge division, and since then I have had various roles as an executive officer until August 2022.
When I originally heard that there was a part-time, three-day-a-week job available, I thought it would be manageable while raising a three-year-old child, but after the interview, I received two offer letters. One was part-time, three days a week, and the other was for the head of the business!
Looking back, I am grateful to the company for taking such a huge risk for a full-time housewife in the midst of raising a child with no start-up experience, but I was excited by the bold decision of the entrepreneur and the vision the business was aiming for and decided to jump into the start-up world as the business head.
The next six and a half years were for me, the days when time moved three times faster than before.
During the dawn of “Spot Consulting (Expert consultation)” services in Japan, it was two years of trial and error on how to establish a matching platform while creating a new market. It was especially challenging to decide on the GTM strategy because of the horizontal nature of the business.
My journey continued in the Compliance area where I spent another two years building an internal control system to meet various requirements for an IPO while enhancing the compliance program of the service in anticipation of a global expansion. After the IPO in March 2020, I returned to the front office again as the head of the financial sector division. Although it was a challenging start because of the COVID situation, we were able to create new forms of business, including our first business partnership with a national bank in Japan.
My last mission at the company was heading the corporate group while conducting a post-merger-integration (“PMI”) for the first acquired company, with its headquarters in the US.
I was responsible for managing the progress of the entire PMI project, involving the management members of the acquired company, and led various integrations such as the establishment of a new “value” with both CEOs, the development of internal controls, and a setup of employee engagement and relocation program between the companies. For me, this final mission was the “culmination” of all the experiences I had built over the years.
Why DNX Ventures
I met Kurabayashi-san when I was thinking about the next chapter of my career. He told me, “there are a certain number of Venture Capitalists in Silicon Valley who have management experience as operators in startups. I want to create such an ecosystem for Japanese VCs in order to further develop the Japanese startup.” I felt I had found the path I wanted to pursue with passion where my experiences could be utilized for contributing to the ecosystem of Japanese startups at DNX Ventures.
What I want to do
As Japan’s working population declines, I have an interest in tech products that can eliminate inefficiencies and improve labor productivity, as well as products that enable business/organization management to be executed at a higher standard. In addition, another keyword for me is “global.” We would like to support entrepreneurs who have a strong passion for global expansion. As a VC, I would like to create an ecosystem that will enable smooth expansion into overseas markets, something that only DNX, with its base in Silicon Valley, can do.
I believe I have much to learn from the startups who are conducting businesses on the front lines. With that being said, I am fully committed to supporting the entrepreneurs and their companies’ growth by utilizing my experiences in IPO and PMI for the US company’s M&A, the lessons I learned in the process of scaling the organization from 10 to 200 employees, and the experience of being involved in decision-making processes as a member of the executive committee.
I am looking forward to meeting and working with you!