With over 1,200 investments in more than 50 countries, 500 Startups is currently the most active seed investor in Silicon Valley, & the world. The firm was founded in 2010 by Dave McClure, a veteran investor formerly at Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund & PayPal. The 500 portfolio includes billion dollar companies like Twilio, GrabTaxi, & Credit Karma, as well as other winners like Viki (acquired by Rakuten), Udemy, & Ipsy.
James is the head of 500 Startups’ $30m fund for Japan.
Prior to 500 Startups, James covered early stage international investments for DeNA's venture arm, focusing on Silicon Valley & select countries in Asia. He drove DeNA's first investments in Thail&, Indonesia, Philippines, India. His investments have raised from &reessen Horowitz, Khosla Impact (Vinod Khosla), Innovation Endeavors (Eric Schmidt), Global Founders Capital (Rocket Internet), & Biz Stone (co-founder of Twitter)
Prior to DeNA, he was the founding CEO of STORYS.JP, the "Medium.com Japan". The site is the birthplace of the Amazon #1 bestseller, “The Invincible Blonde Gal,” which sold over 300,000 copies in the first 3 months. The motion picture (ビリギャル) went on to gross about $23 million at the box office.
In another life, he worked at J.P. Morgan in New York & Tokyo.