Team history



On July 7, 2017, Yusuke Asakura, Kenji Kobayashi, and Takafumi Murakami founded Signifiant. From that point, we have worked together to create new industries by supporting the management of startups in the growth stage, regardless of whether they are public or private.

In the first half of the 2010s, Yusuke and Kenji, who were both non-founder executives at mixi and DeNA, respectively, and had experienced the rapid growth and difficulties faced by these internet public companies, frequently discussed the "Second Valley of Death" that many Japanese Post-IPO startups struggle to overcome, and how the problem could be solved.

Meanwhile, through the process of engaging in strengthening the competitiveness of the Japanese technology sector as a researcher, engineer, advisor, and investor, Takafumi keenly felt the issues in the decision-making and governance in Japanese companies.

Kenji and Takafumi were also classmates from junior high school onward, and through their respective roles as a director of DeNA and as an investment banker in Goldman Sachs they engaged in business as a customer and banker, and gave a great deal of thought to how Japanese companies can make their presence known on the global stage, and the ideal form for industries and management.

These three people came together to form a team to work on creating new industries from Japan. That was the birth of Signifiant.

Since then, we have operated our opinion site signifiant style, which covers topics related to managing Post-IPO startups and our industrial finance business, management advisory business, and public equity investment business.

By pure coincidence, all three of us are from Hyogo Prefecture, but we are happy to work with people from outside of Hyogo Prefecture too!