Triple W Japan, developer of DFree urination predictor, secures $4.4M pre-series B round

DFree device and app
Image credit: Triple W Japan

See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Triple W Japan, the startup which developed urination predictor device DFree, announced on Monday that it has raised 500 million yen (about $4.4 million US) from Nissay Capital and 2020, the Japanese investment partner fund of Taiwanese electronics outfit Foxconn, in a pre-series B round.

For Triple W Japan, this follows their series A round back in July of 2017 raising 500 million yen (about $4.9 million US), including 1 million yen in loans from Mizuho Bank and Japan Finance Corporation. Nissay Capital also participated in a seed round back in April of 2015 while 2020 joined the series A round last year. Triple W Japan has a total of 1.5 billion yen (about $13.1 million) in funding to date.

The company has rolled out the DFree urination prediction device into 150 nursery care facilities across Japan in partnership with the eldercare industry, including 116 facilities run by Sompo Care Next, where the solution has been adopted for 2,000 elderly patients. In France, a country which faces a typical aging population, Triple W Japan recently secured clinical testing of the solution at Paris and Poissy care facilities working with European eldercare giant Korian, readying to put it into practical use at these facilities. Beyond deployment at an unnamed major hospital in Singapore, the company will exhibit at Medica 2017, the world’s largest medical device-focused exhibition in Düsseldorf (Germany), aiming to cultivate sales channels in the US market.

Furthermore, Triple W Japan has been selected as a do-support company in the category of robotics tech for nursery care, a joint initiative of Japanese ministries overseeing welfare and economy (latter known as METI), while preparing to visit Israel next January under METI’s Hiyaku Next Enterprise tour of startup ecosystems.

DFree has been adopting the B2B (business-to-business) or the B2B2C (business-to-business-to-consumer) business model in terms of how to distribute devices and sell services. However, as they gain more exposure through various media outlets, more inquiries from individuals are incoming so they started working on the B2C (business-to-consumer) sales in response to such needs. According to Atsushi Nakanishi, CEO of Triple W Japan, stroke is the most frequent cause of elderly people becoming in need of long-term care, but he said that few systematic rehabilitation and training facilities exist focused on natural excretion to help get them back to regular daily life requiring no hospital care. By offering the DFree device, he explained that his company may help patients get back home and continue their daily life with dignity.

The pre-series B round at this time looks to help the company’s continued growth without sacrificing speed because an upcoming series B round will require more time to secure. The company plans to start raising for the series B round in earnest, so investors participating in the latest round are expected to exchange their convertible equities into common stocks when the series B round is closed. They target about 1 billion yen (about $8.8 million US) in the series B round next year.

Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy