Strengthening open innovation with startups to deepen its solutions business and accelerate DX
Tokyo, 30 September 2021 —-Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd. (TSE: 6305; “Hitachi Construction Machinery”) announced that the company has invested in the Counterpart Ventures Fund II offering managed by Counterpart Ventures (headquartered in California, United States of America), a venture capital firm that is active primarily in Silicon Valley. By investing in this fund, Hitachi Construction Machinery will utilize the abundant networks possessed by Counterpart Ventures to further strengthen open innovation with startups to deepen its solutions business and accelerate digital transformation (operational reforms utilizing digital technologies, hereinafter “DX”).
As stated in its “Realizing Tomorrow’s Opportunities 2022” Medium-term Management Plan, Hitachi Construction Machinery aims to deepen its solutions at every contact with customers through the utilization of digital technologies. At the same time, in recent years a great number of startups are offering new technologies and services as digital technologies are being utilized in every field. The strengthening of “open innovation” through the utilization of these startups is being positioned as an important pillar of the company’s strategy to deepen its solutions. Therefore, Hitachi Construction Machinery launched the “Venture Business Investment Promotion Project” in April 2020 and has promoted collaboration with promising startups. Amid such activities, the company recently decided to invest in Counterpart Ventures’ fund to accelerate its strategy.
Counterpart Ventures was established in 2018 and invests in US startups primarily in US which possess advanced technologies and services in areas such as SaaS*1 solutions providing software through the cloud, customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM), logistics technologies, construction technologies which apply IT to the construction field, and IoT. In addition, Counterpart Ventures also has an established reputation for its advisory services due to Founding General Partner Joe Saijo, who is well-versed in open innovation and was previously responsible for new business development at Hitachi Solutions and corporate venture capital at Recruit. By investing in this fund, Hitachi Construction Machinery will search for promising startups, develop new business by expanding its “Solution Linkage®” series of ICT and IoT solutions for supporting the ICT construction of customers, improve the efficiency and quality of sales/services and rental asset management through digital technologies, and accelerate DX within the company. In addition, Hitachi Construction Machinery will also focus on collaborations with startups in relation to its independent expansion*2 in the North, Central and South American markets which started in March 2022.
Going forward, the Hitachi Construction Machinery Group will continue to strongly promote open innovation with various business partners and startups with the goal of deepening its solutions at every contact with customers through the utilization of digital technologies.
It is my great pleasure to welcome the participation of Hitachi Construction Machinery in our company’s fund. Hitachi Construction Machinery have favorably evaluated the investment performance of both partners and the open innovation best practices backed by our operational experience in corporate venture capital. This investment will contribute to Hitachi Construction Machinery’s new businesses and the realization of DX within the company.
Comment from Hitachi Construction Machinery Vice President and Executive Officer, CTO, President of the Client Solutions Group Hideshi Fukumoto
I am very happy that we recently had the opportunity to invest in Counterpart Ventures. The utilization of digital technologies is extremely important amid the diversifying needs of the construction and mining industries. Through this investment, Counterpart Ventures will search for promising startups and support the development of new businesses which will lead to a deepening of Hitachi Construction Machinery’s solutions business and an acceleration of DX.
Overview of Counterpart Ventures
Counterpart Ventures was established in 2018 by Patrick Eggen who previously served as the Managing Director of “Qualcomm Ventures North America,” which is the corporate venture capital arm of US semiconductor manufacturer Qualcomm, and Joe Saijo who started his career as a systems engineer at Hitachi Solutions before serving as the Managing Director at Recruit Strategic Partners, the corporate venture capital subsidiary of Recruit Holdings.
Overview of the investment fund
Counterpart Ventures Fund II
Date of the investment agreement signing
April 28, 2021
Business services in North America, SaaS, CRM, SCM,
logistic technologies, construction technologies, and IoT
Approx. 110 million US dollars
“Solution Linkage” is a registered trademark of Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd.