Porn billionaire reinvents himself as Japan’s social-conscious startup guru

Porn billionaire reinvents himself as Japan’s social-conscious startup guru

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Imagine the publisher of Pornhub.com being asked to address Harvard University undergraduates on the virtues of running a socially responsible business.

That’s basically what happened in Japan this past December, when the country’s most prestigious private university extended an invitation to adult entertainment mogul Keishi Kameyama.


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After years of being rejected for bank loans and frozen out of business deals, the onetime pariah is now being embraced as an internet pioneer, and even a role model.

His ever-evolving media and technology empire, DMM.com, started with pornography but has grown into a vast collection of enterprises that have made him one of Japan’s richest people.

Kameyama got an important vote of confidence a few years ago when filmmaker ‘Beat’ Takeshi Kitano agreed to appear in ads for his start-up incubator, and the endorsements have come quickly since.

In December, there was the invitation from Keio University students to discuss his work investing in Africa and supporting young entrepreneurs. A month later, Japan’s most popular weekly magazine hired him to write a column for its website, Bunshun Online, offering parenting and relationship advice.

Married with two kids, the 56-year-old wears a stubbly goatee and an inconspicuous uniform of monochrome T-shirts. His ownership of DMM gives him a net worth of $3.5bn, according to financial records disclosed for the first time to Bloomberg News and calculations from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index based on current earnings. Yet, Kameyama’s look and demeanour scarcely suggest wealth. Japan’s ninth richest man rides a bicycle to work.

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