Hollywood actor, Will Smith and soccer star, Keisuke Honda have launched a new venture capital fund to finance startups in the US. The fund, called The Dreamers Fund, is based in Los Angeles and plans to invest in startups centered around social issues that are of concern to the two stars.
The news of the project was announced in a statement to the media this week by Honda’s management company, KSK Group.
“The Dreamers Fund” Goals
Smith and Honda’s goal is to raise $100 billion and then use their personal connections to look for and invest in unicorns, which are unlisted companies worth over $1 billion dollars. Some recent and globally-recognized unicorn companies include Uber, Pinterest and Airbnb. Nomura Holdings, a financial services company, has come on board as ‘an anchor investor’ and will help the pair to raise funds.
Smith and Honda’s goal is to raise $100 billion and then use their personal connections to look for unicorns
Honda has said that his aim with this venture capital fund is to build bridges between Japanese investors and overseas businesses. He hopes The Dreamers Fund will change the lives of people in the US, Japan and the world, for the better.
The current issue with unicorns is that just before they go public their valuation goes through the roof. This then limits potential returns after the initial public offering (IPO). Smith and Honda hope that with their new venture fund, Japanese investors will have a better chance to get in on the first level with these unicorn startups.
Pre-Venture Capital Fund
Both men have previous experience as investors. Smith has made a number of investments through his production company, Overbrook Entertainment, while Honda has been an angel investor in various ventures in education, drone technology and other businesses.
It is said the two got to know each other through the Japanese player’s management company, Honda Estilo, which features both Smith and his son, Jaden, as talent on their website.
Stars of the Fifa World Cup
Smith, who performed the Fifa World Cup song, “Live It Up’, at the final in Moscow, spoke about Honda during a press conference and described him as one of his favorite footballers, saying he was “a really authentic, good dude”.
Honda recently announced his retirement from international soccer during the World Cup. But not before he came off the bench to score the equalizing goal against Senegal that allowed Japan to proceed to the knockout stage of the tournament. The Samurai Blue were later put out of the competition following a defeat against Belgium.