Daniel Eisenberg: Hello and welcome to McKinsey on Start-ups, I’m Daniel Eisenberg.
Once known for technology innovations such as the Walkman, gaming systems and bullet trains, Japan has long been a laggard when it comes to venture capital and start-up success. The world’s third-largest economy has produced just a handful of tech unicorns, and funding for new businesses has been a relative pittance compared to the massive flows in the US, Europe or other parts of Asia. It’s not that the country doesn’t boast its fair share of creative tech entrepreneurs, but the regulatory and market culture has tended to limit their global ambitions and push them to cash out early via IPOs or M&A. A dearth of developer talent hasn’t helped.