Japan’s Xtreme Design raises $620K to go beyond virtual supercomputer on-demand

Image credit: Xtreme Design

See the original story in Japanese.

Correction: In the first paragraph, there was an error in the number of digits of the funding amount in the original currency. (Updated on February 2nd at 2pm JST)

Tokyo-based Xtreme Design, the Japanese startup cloud-based virtual supercomputing on-demand service called Xtreme DNA, announced on Tuesday that it has fundraised 70 million yen (about $620,000) in its pre-series A round. This round is led by Freebit Investment and includes individual investors, namely Kotaro Chiba (former Vice President of Japanese mobile game developer Colopl) and Yasumasa Manabe (CEO of Takamatsu-Kotohira Electric Railway). This funding is subsequent to the one of 30 million yen (about $260,000) conducted last January and March from its founders and angel investors.

Xtreme Design started in February of 2015. On November of the following year, it demonstrated Xtreme DNA at the global supercomputer conference SuperComputing 2016, providing an unmanned service of operations monitoring / dynamic change of the configuration for effective system utilization of supercomputers by deploying virtual supercomputers on the cloud.

Te Xtreme Design team at SuperComputing 2016.
Image credit: Xtreme Design

According to CEO Naoki Shibata, functions of Xtreme DNA have been attracting a lot of attention as IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) from enterprise users, showing “so good sales.” It is available for Microsoft Azure supporting InfiniBand (a high-speed bus architecture between servers and clusters), and is also used on AWS (Amazon Web Service) by purchasing spot instances in some cases due to costs and convenience (on AWS, it is implemented in an environment interconnected via 10Gbps Ethernet on behalf of InfiniBand).

The firm has a neutral standpoint on cloud sevices which XTREME DNA supports. The know-how to yield the best performance on the cloud shows the true worth of Shibata and his team who had been involved in development and operation of supercomputers for many years.

CEO Naoki Shibata appeared at a pitch competition held at Tech in Asia Tokyo 2016 in September of 2016.
Image credit: Masaru Ikeda

Although Xtreme Design has been focused on back-end technologies, it appears to be switching gears for the next stage, as can be called “Xtreme DNA 2.0.” Shibata explains the attempt to supplement the visualization with well-designed UI/UX (user interface / user experience) to Xtreme DNA.

Shibata said:

We plan to develop our service to be used not only in genome or simulation analysis but also in various fields such as IoT (Internet of Things), image analysis or stock price prediction in FinTech. The purpose of UI/UX implementation is to make it easier to be used by a wide range of users.

Although a few startups exist in the US seemingly providing competitive services, Shibata expects that Xtreme Design can win out if a good product with UI/UX can be offered. With a view of dominating the global market, the brand-new Xtreme DNA is scheduled to be exhibited at the SXSW Trade Show which will be held in Austin, Texas from March 10th.

Regarding the funding this time, we can easily imagine a business synergy between Xtreme Design and Freebit (TSE:3843), which is the parent company of lead investor Freebit Investment providing IaaS as its business. The participation of Chiba and Manabe was due to both wishing to be involved in its business development. Since Chiba had invested in startups dealing with Big Data, the synergy in this field can be expected as well.

Translated by Taijiro Takeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy, Masaru Ikeda