See the original story in Japanese.
Tokyo-based Laboratik — the Japanese startup providing insight to optimize team work through a smart bot platform called A; — announced on Monday that it has raised 80 million yen (about $745,000) in a seed round from Archetype Ventures, Mizuho Capital, Eltes Capital, Zertoh.AI, and other angel investors.
Coinciding with the latest funding, Professor Reiji Ohtaki of Waseda Business School and Hajime Hotta of Japanese AI startup Cinnamon joined Laboratik as development advisors. The company says it will use the funds to strengthen their engineering and marketing capabilities.
Laboratik was founded in July of 2015 by Toyofumi Miura who previously started out his career as a designer at R/GA New York and subsequently worked as an industry manager at Google Japan where he came up with a project regarding a new way of working.
In view of adopting Google’s culture where employees are quantitatively evaluated into HR Tech, the Laboratik team was thinking to develop a product to serve crowdsourced work. They came up with “A;” as a side project in this process.
Using the company’s proprietary Natural Language Processing technology, “A;” works as a chat bot for Slack to monitor conversation, analyzes the emotional tendency and positive/negative degree of team members in the project.
In addition, the chat bot can sort conversations by the relative amount of them and topic so that, for example, it can visualizes who is in a negative state of mind or lacks communication with other members as well as proposing topics to discuss he or she is likely to be interested in. Miura plans to expand the platform into other chat tools beyond Slack in the future.
Since its closed beta launch back in February of 2017, “A;” has been used on a test basis by 800 companies in Japan and the rest of the world. Laboratik has been highly evaluated by more than a few acceleration programs such as being recently qualified for the first batch of the Plug and Play Japan accelerator. They will start charging users on an account basis but a detailed pricing plan will be announced when the service is officially launched.
Translated by Masaru Ikeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy