Jan 18, 2022 – TechCrunch
Animoca Brands has raised funding at a more than $5B valuation, triple where it was in October
It started in the summer of 2006, when the founding partners of Translink met Ozaki-san for dinner at an Italian restaurant in Palo Alto. He listened calmly, with his trademark grin on his face, as the team shared with him a vision of building a truly international firm that would bring together Silicon Valley and Asian markets. Six months later, on January 1 2007, anchored by funding from Kazunori Ozaki’s firm, Ant Capital, TransLink started its Fund I out of a modest office in downtown Palo Alto.
Ozaki-san was an integral part of the team from that moment on, providing influential insight at each important juncture. Thanks in part to his guidance, Translink has continued to expand its operations and now has offices in Silicon Valley, Beijing, Seoul, Taipei, and Tokyo. As Ozaki-san would say: “Change is good. With change comes opportunity. Embrace the change and capitalize on it.”
Kazunori Ozaki was Chairman & CEO of Ant Capital Partners, one of the fastest growing private equity firms in Japan. He was also the Chairman of the Japan Venture Capital Association. Before Ant Capital, he served as Senior Vice President of GE Capital Japan, where he led private equity investments in nine companies with a total value of 4 billion yen. Kazunori acted as an outside director for four of these companies, and led a joint business initiative with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, establishing a 20-billion yen fund for Management Buy-Outs (MBO).
Kazunori joined JAFCO Co., Ltd. in 1984 and worked as a representative of the London Office, Director of Overseas Investments, and Director of the MBO Team, leading investments of approximately 11 billion yen in 61 companies. In 1998, he completed two of the first MBO deals in Japan. Kazunori started his career at Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries (IHI) in 1972, where he worked as a representative at the U.A.E. office with the Machinery Export Planning Division.
Kazunori held a B.S. degree from Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan.