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Buddhist Monk Who Spent Years as Recluse Targets IPO for Startup

  • Ieiri’s company Campfire is Japan’s top crowdfunding site
  • Firm aims to go public at valuation of up to $1.8 billion
Kazuma Ieiri at Campfire’s headquarters in Tokyo.
Kazuma Ieiri at Campfire’s headquarters in Tokyo.Photographer: Shoko Takayasu/Bloomberg
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Kazuma Ieiri was bullied at school, too poor to go to university, and spent years in his bedroom as a recluse. More than 20 years later, he’s aiming to take his startup public at a valuation of more than $1 billion.

Campfire Inc., which helps individuals and small groups raise funds online, is seeking to list shares this year at a valuation of as much as 200 billion yen ($1.8 billion), Ieiri said in an interview. It’s a long-anticipated IPO for the popular crowdfunding operator, the biggest such business in Japan.