Taizo Son

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Taizo Son
Born (1972-09-29) September 29, 1972 (age 45)
Residence Japan
Nationality Japanese
Alma mater Tokyo University
Occupation President & CEO of Mistletoe, Inc.
Chairman of GungHo
Net worth $1.2 billion (2014)[1]

Taizo Son (born September 29, 1972) is a Japanese serial entrepreneur and investor. He is CEO of Mistletoe, a company that he founded in 2013. He is also chairman of mobile gaming company GungHo, which he founded in 2002. The company's market value in 2013 was $10.4 billion and this has made him a billionaire.[2] He is the youngest brother of SoftBank magnate Masayoshi Son.

Early life[edit]

Taizo was born in Tosu City, Saga Prefecture, Japan.

After he graduated from a secondary school connected to Kurume University, he enrolled into the University of Tokyo. There he excelled in Business Administration. While he was still considering his career after graduation, his older brother Masayoshi asked him to join the Yahoo Japan project where he met Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo. At the meeting Taizo pitched Yang his idea of how to efficiently launch Yahoo Japan. Eventually the position of content development leader was given to Taizo although he was still a student. During the project Taizo successfully managed 100 staff and launched Yahoo Japan within 3 months.[3]


In 1998 he co-founded Onsale, a company which later became GungHo. He then managed the company as CEO and it went public on Nippon New Market Hercules (which later became JASDAQ) on March 9, 2005.[4] The company’s market value in 2013 was $10.4 billion due to its gaming mobile app Puzzle & Dragons which was the top revenue earning app globally for the year.[2]

In 2009 he founded a seed stage accelerator MOVIDA JAPAN which supported 47 startups. Some of those startups are translimit, flier, trippiece, nana music, U-NOTE, and Shiroyagi Corporation. The company finished offering its seed acceleration program in June 2014.[5] The investment function has been separated into a venture capital fund Genuine Startups.

In 2013 he founded Mistletoe, a hub for startups and the overall entrepreneurial ecosystem. With the company he and his members provide learning opportunities for entrepreneurs, facilitate startup communities, invest in and support startup companies and venture capitals.

Boards and honors[edit]

He serves on the board of ETIC, an institute which provides young people with opportunities to develop their capabilities as social entrepreneurs.[6]


  1. ^ "Taizo Son". Forbes. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Billionaire Taizo Son Emerges With 'Puzzle & Dragons' App". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2015-04-21. 
  3. ^ "【ベンチャー三国志】vol.8 孫泰蔵、死に物狂いでヤフー立ち上げ/モビーダジャパンCEO 孫泰蔵". Kigyoka Club. Retrieved 2015-04-21. 
  4. ^ "ガンホーの歴史". GungHo Online Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved 2015-04-21. 
  5. ^ "STARTUPS". MOVIDA JAPAN Inc. Retrieved 2015-04-21. 
  6. ^ "ETIC". Retrieved 2015-04-21.