THE $50 MILLION FUND FROM LEADING ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY AKATSUKI
INC. IS INVESTING IN CUTTING EDGE ENTERTAINMENT TECHNOLOGY STARTUPS
FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Los Angeles, CA [February 27, 2018] – Akatsuki Entertainment Technology Fund (AET Fund), a
$50 million investment fund launched by Japan’s leading entertainment company Akatsuki Inc.
is expanding its executive structure by hiring Mark Linao as Principal, it was announced today
by Akatsuki Inc. CFO and AET Fund Managing Director, Tomoya Ogawa.
Linao will report to Mr. Ogawa. In his role, Linao will be responsible for managing the
company’s $50 million fund and its operations in the United States across several verticals in
the entertainment technology sector. His work will involve sourcing, evaluating and investing in
companies applying entertainment and gamification elements to several industries such as
retail, marketing, education, and health and fitness, and companies leveraging frontier
technologies for entertainment (AR/VR, AI, and blockchain technology). The fund is also
interested in emerging forms of entertainment and gaming, such as eSports, live streaming, and
“We are thrilled to have Mr. Linao on board to aide in Akatsuki’s goal of discovering and
nurturing groundbreaking companies who are poised to become leaders of innovation in the
realm of new entertainment technologies,” said Mr. Ogawa. “His vast experience as an active
advisor successfully guiding numerous entrepreneurs and investors through their business
ventures from seed funding to development and execution makes him a highly regarded and
trusted partner among many in the entrepreneurial tech and entertainment industry. His
background and knowledge in investments and venture capital will help our company continue
to be a revolutionary leader in the entertainment technology space.”
“I am overwhelmingly delighted to work with Ogawa-san and the team at AET Fund, as well as
the entrepreneurs who are building at the intersection of entertainment and technology,”
commented Linao. “There are lots of structural changes and new business models in media and
entertainment that have largely been shaped by technology shifts. As new media consumption
habits emerge, we will continue to invest in and work with companies who are exploring the
new frontiers of entertainment. Whether that involves established mediums such as mobile
phones, or more emerging tech like VR/AR, voice assistants, blockchain technology, and beyond
– the future looks very exciting.”
The AET Fund is dedicated to supporting the exploration of technology within entertainment.
The $50 million fund was launched in October 2017 with the goal to providing the resources
that will empower creative, innovative content and services to deliver brand new experiences
that bridge the digital and real-world.
AET Fund recently announced its first round of investments in eight unique, cutting-edge
entertainment tech startups from Japan, the U.S. and Switzerland. The investments by the AET
Fund represent a new surge of interest in various new entertainment technologies for Akatsuki
Inc., including AR, VR, and MR.
The first entertainment-fueled startups to benefit from the initial tranche of the $50 million
investment fund include HypeVR, FABLE STUDIO, Tyffon Inc., OCTI, RosieReality Inc., and ALE
Investing between $100,000 and $1 million on average in each company, AET Fund is working
as a collaborator and mentor with these startups, lending its experience and expertise to help
the companies grow into leaders of next generation technology. With further investments
expected in 2018, AET Fund is additionally set to increase its overall investments by executing
partnerships across the globe to search for progressive and innovative forms of technology in
Before joining AET Fund, Linao was a senior multi-disciplined Engineer at aerospace and
defense firm Raytheon. Linao had also spent time at the Rubicon Project and Amazon. After
that, Linao was an Associate at Technicolor Ventures eventually transitioning to Director of
Corporate Development and Strategy at Technicolor. Currently, Linao is a Venture Partner at
Candela Partners, an angel and pre-seed fund focused on mixed reality, computer vision, and
Linao has spent that last few years advising, mentoring, and supporting several startups focused
on augmented reality, virtual reality, and gaming. Linao is a graduate of the University of
California Los Angeles (UCLA) with a BS and MS in Materials Science and Engineering and holds
a MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.
Highly regarded and ambitious mobile gaming company Akatsuki Inc. launched 10 short years
ago and now has annual revenues topping $100 million in their first half of this fiscal year. With
a mission of driving innovation within the entertainment industry Akatsuki Inc. has quickly
became one of the top leading Japanese mobile gaming companies.
Akatsuki Inc. recently launched a US based feature film production arm, Akatsuki Entertainment
USA, to develop, finance and produce feature films and content across all platforms for the global
marketplace. The company is helmed by production executive Annmarie Sairrino Bailey who
serves as President and Board Member. Industry veteran Sandy Climan, President of
Entertainment Media Ventures, serves as senior advisor to the company as well as to the parent
company Akatsuki Inc. and Moeko Suzuki, head of Akatsuki Entertainment Tokyo Division.
About: AET Fund
AET Fund ( https://en.aktsk.jp/AETfund/ ) is a corporate global fund of Akatsuki Inc., established to unearth entertainment technology. AET Fund aims to create innovative experiences, fusing the digital and real-world domains, by investing in next generation technologies and services. The size of the fund is $50,000,000 and the fund focuses on investments in entertainment tech startups of seed or series A rounds.
About: Akatsuki, Inc.
Akatsuki Inc. (https://en.aktsk.jp/) headquartered in Tokyo with offices in Taiwan and Los Angeles, is the highly regarded entertainment company based in Japan. Incorporated in 2010, Akatsuki has achieved remarkable growth and went public in 2016 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. With a mission of driving innovation within the entertainment industry, Akatsuki is responsible for successful games played all over the world. Akatsuki’s core business focuses on the production of games for mobile phones and tablets. Akatsuki has expanded its service offerings to include the live experience business by providing an easy search and reservation platform for experience based entertainment such as outdoor tours or special events in Japan. The company is best known for co-developing one of 2017’s most successful mobile games “Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle,” published by BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment.
For press enquiries about Akatsuki Inc. in the U.S. contact:
Maxine Leonard PR
Office: 323 930 2345