Justin Yoshimura

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Justin Yoshimura
Born1990 (age 30–31)
OccupationFounder, 500 Friends
Chairman, Ice.com
Chairman, DirectBuy
Founder & CEO, CSC Generation
Years active2004–present

Justin Yoshimura (born 1990)[1] is an American technology entrepreneur and investor. He is the founder, chairman, and CEO of the holding company CSC Generation.

Early life[edit]

Yoshimura was raised in Palos Verdes Estates, California.[2] 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.[1][2][3]


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.[4][5] 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.[1][4] 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.[6] 500friends was acquired by data marketing firm Merkle Inc. in November 2014, and Yoshimura was named Merkle's senior vice president of loyalty.[7][8][9]

In 2014, Yoshimura founded CSC Generation, and purchased the domain name Ice.com, converting it into an online jewelry marketplace.[7][10] He then acquired several other e-commerce marketplaces, including DirectBuy, in February 2017.[11] In 2017, CSC Generation generated $150 million in sales.[7] CSC is backed by Chinese private equity firm China Science & Merchants Capital Management and Khosla Ventures.[7][12]

Yoshimura also invests in early stage startups,[13] including the media company MACRO,[14] and technology companies Zencoder,[15] Hipmunk,[15] and Bounce Exchange.[16] In 2011, he was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 in the Social/Mobile category.[17]


  1. ^ a b c Zoran Basich, "500friends' Founder Has Come A Long Way From The Lemonade Stand," Wall Street Journal, March 19, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Jordan England-Nelson, "Palos Verdes High dropout-turned-millionaire Justin Yoshimura helps Loyola Marymount entrepreneurs," Daily Breeze, October 20, 2014.
  3. ^ Ben Muessig, "What can you learn from tech CEO and high school dropout Justin Yoshimura?" San Francisco Chronicle, May 28, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Sarah Perez, "500Friends Raises $4.5M Series A For Its Social Loyalty Platform," TechCrunch, March 14, 2012.
  5. ^ Paul Spiegelman, "How CEOs Can Personally Recruit Top Talent," Inc., November 28, 2012.
  6. ^ Anthony Ha, "500friends Raises $5M To Bring Its Online Loyalty Programs To Physical Stores," TechCrunch, March 12, 2013.
  7. ^ a b c d Tomio Geron, "CSC Generation Turns Ecommerce Sites into Product Leasing," Wall Street Journal, June 15, 2017.
  8. ^ Phil Britt, "2015 40Under40 Winner: Justin Yoshimura," DMNews.com, September 24, 2015.
  9. ^ Anthony Ha, "Merkle Acquires Loyalty Startup 500friends," TechCrunch, November 18, 2014.
  10. ^ Sarah Perez, "Ice.com's New Owners Raise $2 Million To Bring Fair Pricing To The Jewelry Industry," TechCrunch, January 21, 2016.
  11. ^ Joseph S. Pete, "Chinese firm acquires Merrillville's DirectBuy," The Times of Northwest Indiana, February 17, 2017.
  12. ^ Clint Engel, "Private equity buy allows DirectBuy to rebuild," Furniture Today, March 27, 2017.
  13. ^ Katie Benner, "Start-Ups Once Showered With Cash Now Have to Work for It," New York Times, May 20, 2016.
  14. ^ James Rainey, "Apple Heiress Laurene Powell Jobs Leads Investors in Charles King's MACRO," Variety, September 2, 2015.
  15. ^ a b Tomio Geron, "500Friends Raises $4.5 Million Series A For Social Loyalty," Forbes, March 15, 2012.
  16. ^ Christine Magee, "BounceX Raises $6.5M To Make Advertising Less Obnoxious," Tech Crunch, August 10, 2015.
  17. ^ Elizabeth Woyke, "30 Under 30: Social/Mobile," Forbes, December 19, 2011.

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