|Born||1990 (age 30–31)|
|Occupation||Founder, 500 Friends |
Founder & CEO, CSC Generation
Justin Yoshimura (born 1990) is an American technology entrepreneur and investor. He is the founder, chairman, and CEO of the holding company CSC Generation.
Yoshimura was raised in Palos Verdes Estates, California. As a student at Palos Verdes High School, he launched CellsWholesale.com, an online marketplace for cell phones. In its first year, the business generated $1 million in revenue, and he dropped out of high school in his junior year to run the business full-time. He sold it in 2008.
In 2010, Yoshimura founded 500friends, a cloud-based platform providing loyalty and other incentive programs for e-commerce companies. It was launched in 2011, and backed by Y Combinator, with Yoshimura as CEO. In March 2012, 500friends raised $4.5 million in Series A financing, led by Crosslink Capital, with participation from Intel Capital, with Yoshimura becoming the youngest entrepreneur Crosslink and Intel had backed at the time. In March 2013, 500friends raised $5 million in Series B financing, led by Intel Capital and Fung Capital, bringing its total funding to $12 million. 500friends was acquired by data marketing firm Merkle Inc. in November 2014, and Yoshimura was named Merkle's senior vice president of loyalty.
In 2014, Yoshimura founded CSC Generation, and purchased the domain name Ice.com, converting it into an online jewelry marketplace. He then acquired several other e-commerce marketplaces, including DirectBuy, in February 2017. In 2017, CSC Generation generated $150 million in sales. CSC is backed by Chinese private equity firm China Science & Merchants Capital Management and Khosla Ventures.
Yoshimura also invests in early stage startups, including the media company MACRO, and technology companies Zencoder, Hipmunk, and Bounce Exchange. In 2011, he was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 in the Social/Mobile category.
- Zoran Basich, "500friends' Founder Has Come A Long Way From The Lemonade Stand," Wall Street Journal, March 19, 2012.
- Jordan England-Nelson, "Palos Verdes High dropout-turned-millionaire Justin Yoshimura helps Loyola Marymount entrepreneurs," Daily Breeze, October 20, 2014.
- Ben Muessig, "What can you learn from tech CEO and high school dropout Justin Yoshimura?" San Francisco Chronicle, May 28, 2014.
- Sarah Perez, "500Friends Raises $4.5M Series A For Its Social Loyalty Platform," TechCrunch, March 14, 2012.
- Paul Spiegelman, "How CEOs Can Personally Recruit Top Talent," Inc., November 28, 2012.
- Anthony Ha, "500friends Raises $5M To Bring Its Online Loyalty Programs To Physical Stores," TechCrunch, March 12, 2013.
- Tomio Geron, "CSC Generation Turns Ecommerce Sites into Product Leasing," Wall Street Journal, June 15, 2017.
- Phil Britt, "2015 40Under40 Winner: Justin Yoshimura," DMNews.com, September 24, 2015.
- Anthony Ha, "Merkle Acquires Loyalty Startup 500friends," TechCrunch, November 18, 2014.
- Sarah Perez, "Ice.com's New Owners Raise $2 Million To Bring Fair Pricing To The Jewelry Industry," TechCrunch, January 21, 2016.
- Joseph S. Pete, "Chinese firm acquires Merrillville's DirectBuy," The Times of Northwest Indiana, February 17, 2017.
- Clint Engel, "Private equity buy allows DirectBuy to rebuild," Furniture Today, March 27, 2017.
- Katie Benner, "Start-Ups Once Showered With Cash Now Have to Work for It," New York Times, May 20, 2016.
- James Rainey, "Apple Heiress Laurene Powell Jobs Leads Investors in Charles King's MACRO," Variety, September 2, 2015.
- Tomio Geron, "500Friends Raises $4.5 Million Series A For Social Loyalty," Forbes, March 15, 2012.
- Christine Magee, "BounceX Raises $6.5M To Make Advertising Less Obnoxious," Tech Crunch, August 10, 2015.
- Elizabeth Woyke, "30 Under 30: Social/Mobile," Forbes, December 19, 2011.