Japan’s Dentsu Ventures invests in NYC-based automated content creation startup Agolo



See the original story in Japanese.

Dentsu Ventures, a corporate venture capital of giant Japanese ad agency Dentsu (TSE:4324), announced today that it has invested in NYC-based Ninoch in a seed round. Financial details have not been disclosed. For Dentsu Ventures, this is the second investment in startups following the one in Jibo, a robotics startup born out of MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), where the investment company injected about $3 million in the startup in early August.

Ninoh was founded by two people who graduated from Columbia University in late 2012, being born out of NYC-based Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator in 2013. The company has developed a curated content publishing platform called Agolo. Using their natural language processing and big data analysis engine, the platform sorts out and reedits an enormous amount of unstructured data including reports, articles, social network posts, news updates, and images. It allows media site owners to change the method of digesting information as well as to automate the article generation process, in addition to handling real-time content-based marketing and contextual advertising.

Our readers may recall that BuzzFeed recently announced an upcoming expansion into the Japanese market in partnership with Yahoo Japan, while a number of new media sites like Vice Media, Contently, NowThis and Upworthy, not to mention Business Insider, are emerging out of the U.S.; as a means of enabling media sites to keep creating popular content pieces at a lower cost, such platforms including Agolo will be in the future spotlight in Japan.

Agolo won the NYC chapter of Innovation Weekend World Tour 2015, a pitch competition tour run by Tokyo-based Sunbridge Global Ventures on July 9th. So they will be invited to the competition’s finals at Innovation Weekend Grand Finale 2015, which will take place in Tokyo later this year.

In a past CNN program featuring Israel as a Startup Nation, I saw a startup developing an engine which can generate headlines from news articles based on machine learning. While I unfortunately forgot the name of the startup, I can assume Ninoh may have at least several competitors cultivating similar technology around the world.

Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy