The activity of GMO VenturePartners US is led by a world-class team of investment professionals with over 40 years of operator and 50 years of investment experience. Globally, GMO VenturePartners has invested in over 140 portfolio companies in the last 15 years with $200M in aggregate over five funds, yielding 14 IPOs, 5 unicorns, and dozens of exits. We are actively investing out of our recently launched $75M Global Fund.
Our investment team philosophy is simple: We are entrepreneurs turned investors, backing incredible entrepreneurs. The US investment activity is led by Erik Ford, our US Venture Partner and founder of Renn Ventures.
What we look for: GMO Venture Partners typically invests in Seed to Series C investments as a co-investment partner to top-tier leading firms.
Erik is an investor with an entrepreneur mindset. One of the best investors we have been working with. He is very knowledgeable in U.S. as well as Asian market. He is willing to listen and then provide down-to-earth suggestions on business development related issues. His knowledge and attitude make him an outstanding investor.Sumang Liu, Founder & CEO at Mosaix
Erik has been rolling up his sleeves and diving into the details with us since day one as our investor. He's always generous with his time and expertise and strikes the perfect balance between honesty and encouragement. One of the investors who really gets it!Max Nussenbaum, Co-Founder & CEO at Castle
Erik Ford - US Venture Partner
Erik Ford is the US Venture Partner for GMO Payment Gateway Inc and GMO VenturePartners. Based in San Francisco, Erik leads the investment, business development, and innovation discovery in the US. To date, the US portfolio represents 14 companies across industries such as technology infrastructure, FinTech, e-commerce, AI, and IoT. Prior to GMO PG and GMO VP, Erik has been a founder and entrepreneur across some of the most innovative ventures in e-commerce. Erik’s initial experience included investment banking and private wealth management at leading firms. He earned a B.S. in International Business while helping found the Entrepreneurship program at the University of Tampa.
Ryu Muramatsu - Director, Founding Partner
Ryu Muramatsu is a co-founder and Executive Vice President of GMO Payment Gateway Inc and a Founding Partner and Director of GMO VenturePartners. GMO Payment Gateway is the largest online payment service provider in Japan, public since 2005. Currently, he resides in Singapore to focus on Asian market. Prior to founding his first payment startup, Ryu worked for JAFCO, the largest VC in Japan and JAFCO Ventures in Silicon Valley. He was in charge of Business Development and Japanese connection of its US based portfolio companies. As an investor and entrepreneur, it’s 100 portfolio companies include 11 IPOs and 5 billion dollar companies. (GMO Internet Inc., GMO Payment Gateway Inc., Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd., VECTOR INC., Mercari, Inc.) Ryu earned his B.A. degree from Waseda University.
Yuta Yamamoto - Analyst
Yuta Yamamoto is an Analyst based out of our Tokyo office. He supports global investments in the US, SEA, and India, where he helps support current and future portfolio companies through research, networking, financial analysis, and other support. He holds a Masters of Business Administration from the prestigious HEC Paris.