Keisuke Honda, a Japanese soccer player, has developed a new global network to link businesses, angel investors, venture capital companies, and influencers from Japan, Asia, and across the world.
PROTOCOL, dubbed the “AngelList of Asia,” will use technology to help entrepreneurs and investors while also expanding the ecosystem.
Additionally, the site will be open to those looking for positions in startups, those wanting to establish a firm, and those interested in investing.
PROTOCOL has garnered over 2,000 users from over 50 countries since its alpha version was published six months ago, according to a press release, including several well-known Japanese enterprises and venture capital firms such as SoftBank Vision Fund.
Honda will use his worldwide reputation and contacts as a soccer player to build a bridge between the Japanese, Asian, and global startup ecosystems as executive chairman of PROTOCOL. Honda conducted interviews with a number of startups he met on the site and invested in ten of them.
Honda is regarded as the highest-scoring Asian soccer player in World Cup history, as well as the only player to score and assist in each of the previous three tournaments. He shot to fame in Europe after being the first Japanese player to reach the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals and score in the knockout rounds for CSKA Moscow.
Honda created KSK Angel Fund in 2016 to invest in innovative entrepreneurs before PROTOCOL.
“I’m now thinking of investing in about ten companies. Not limited to this prize amount, I plan to continue angel investing using KSK Angel as much as I can to create at least a slightly more peaceful and bright future for next generations,” Honda said in an interview.
KSK Angel Fund had funded more than 90 Japanese and foreign businesses through November 2021.
Two years later, he co-founded Dreamers Fund with Hollywood star Will Smith. The fund, which targeted Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, was funded by Japanese organizations such as Nomura, Dentsu, and Shiseido. Its main objective and value are to operate as a link between Japanese companies and worldwide startup knowledge, personal relationships, and economic opportunities.
Honda has managed a portfolio of roughly 180 companies through the two funds thus far.