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.
*1: Abbreviation of Software as a Service. Refers to services which use software provided through the cloud over the Internet.
*2: “Our Future Business Expansion Strategy in North, Central and South America” announcement on August 19, 2021