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Dentsu Announces Its Corporate Venture Capital Fund Dentsu Ventures Investment in Grail, a Developer of Blood Testing Techniques for the Early Detection of Cancer in the United States

  • Investor Relations

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June 13, 2017

Dentsu Inc. (Tokyo: 4324; ISIN: JP3551520004; President & CEO: Toshihiro Yamamoto; Head Office: Tokyo; Capital: 74,609.81 million yen) announced today that Dentsu Ventures Global Fund I (hereinafter "Dentsu Ventures"), the Company's corporate venture capital fund, has made an investment in Grail, Inc. (Head Office: Menlo Park; CEO: Jeff Huber; hereinafter "Grail"), a developer of blood testing techniques for the early detection of cancer located in the United States.

Grail, a life science company whose mission is the early detection of cancer, utilizes proprietary sequencing (DNA sequence information reading) technologies, large-scale clinical trials and cutting-edge computer science and data science in an effort to develop and verify blood testing techniques for the early detection of cancer, when it can be cured. To this end, Grail has raised more than US$900 million of necessary funding through a Series B financing round.

Dentsu Ventures is participating in the Series B financing round and plans to support Grail's partnership strategy in Japan. The Dentsu Group will establish alliances between clients and partner companies to encourage the practical application of Grail technologies in Japan. In the future, we also want to contribute to the adoption of testing aimed at the early detection of cancer and increased screening rates.

Dentsu Ventures is a fund established in April 2015 to realize open innovation across the Dentsu Group through collaborations and investments in start-up companies. The total amount of this fund has been increased from the existing 5 billion to 10 billion yen to expand these activities. We will continue to invest globally, and going forward, we plan to increase investments in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, as well as in the European region. We will also enhance our staff to support investees and further strengthen our joint business development structure with investees.

Profiles of Grail and Dentsu Ventures are provided below:

Profile of Grail
Company Name:     Grail, Inc.
Location:    Menlo Park, California, U.S.A.
Representative:     Jeff Huber, CEO
Line of Business:     Development of blood testing techniques for the early detection of cancer

Profile of Dentsu Ventures
Name:     Dentsu Ventures Global Fund I
Total Fund Capital:    10 billion yen
Date of Establishment:    April 2015
Period of Operation:     Ten-year period from April 2015 until March 2025
Investment Regions:    Global investments with a focus on the U.S.A., Europe, Japan and Asia
Investment Stages:    Balanced, wide-ranging investments with the focus on seed and early stage investments, but also including mid-stage and later-stage investments
Investment Areas:    (1) Areas that can change the marketing and communication business in a broad sense
                                   (2) New areas other than the above that have a high potential for innovation


Media-related enquiries:
Shusaku Kannan
Managing Director, Corporate Communications Division
Telephone: (813) 6216-8042

Investment-related enquiries:    
Dentsu Ventures



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