Digital Daruma was established in 2010 to invest in companies and projects that allow the founder, Ken Umezaki, to impact the profound digital music business transformation that has been underway since the turn of this millennium. The company's mission is to focus on three related objectives:
- invest in and advise select digital music related start ups with the potential for long-term relevance and success.
- fund select projects that explore the vast opportunity set available to musicians today.
- direct investment in select artists and artist projects.
- support select charitable programs that promote musicians and musicianship.
Digital Daruma continues to selectively seek opportunities to invest in digital music startups as an investor. Please contact us with any inquiries.
Ken Umezaki, President
Mr. Umezaki, Founder and President of Digital Daruma, has been involved in the music business full time since 2009, when he retired from a successful 25 year career in financial services. He has substantial experience in starting new business lines for major investment banks, seeding and advising start ups, capital markets trading, managing large organizations, and asset management.
Mr. Umezaki currently acts as an investor and business advisor for digital music and media business startups, with a specific focus on artist and b2b service companies. He is also an experienced music business executive, focusing on business development, strategy and fundraising for the companies he works with. He is also an experienced musician, and currently plays bass in the band Fifth of Bourbon. Lastly, he is involved in a number of music foundations and academic organizations, including serving on national boards of Little Kids Rock and Future of Music Coalition, as well as serving as an advisor to specific music technology and entrepreneurship programs at New York University, Berklee College of Music, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He is a frequent presenter and panelists at media conferences, including SXSW, CMJ, SF Music Tech Summit, Future Music Forum, CBGB Music Festival and others.
Mr. Umezaki was born and raised in Tokyo Japan and resides in New York City.
The Daruma (達磨) is a hollow, round, Japanese doll modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism. The Daruma has a design that is rich in symbolism and is regarded as a talisman of good luck to the Japanese. Daruma dolls are seen as a symbol of perseverance and good luck, making them a popular gift of encouragement. Traditionally one eye is filled in when you establish a goal, and the other is filled in when you have achieved that goal. It is a perfect representation of the company's goals, philosophy and the mission of the digital music business overall during this transformation.