James Riney, head of 500 Startups Japan poses with managing partner Yohei Sawayama. Photo: 500 Startups Japan

TechCrunch reports that 500 Startups has announced the close of its fund for Japan, more than 18 months after it was launched.

The effort is backed by the Japanese government which is participating as a VC investor via its Cool Japan Fund. The Cool Japan Fund is a public-private fund that is using about US$1 billion in public funds to invest in local startups. It follows guidelines set by the Japanese government.

Silicon Valley-based 500 Startups describes itself as an early-stage venture fund and seed accelerator. It was founded by Dave McClure and Christine Tsai in 2010.