Japan’s Amegumi raises $183K to develop budget smartphone with minimal functions

L to R: Shogo Kawada, Eisuke Tokiwa (Founder/CEO of Amegumi), and Yuzuru Honda
Image credit: Amegumi

See the original story in Japanese.

Tokushima, Japan-based Amegumi announced on Wednesday that it has fundraised a total of 20 million yen (about $183K US) from angel investors Shogo Kawada (DeNA Co-founder) and Yuzuru Honda (FreakOut Founder). This follows the company’s previous funding last year (funding round and amount unknown) from Skyland Ventures and angel investor Shinji Yamamoto (former Far East Asia Co-Chairperson for AT Kearney and former Representative in Tokyo for Bain & Company).

Amegumi has developed Sunblaze OS, a smartphone operating system focused on supporting minimal functions. The company aims to develop inexpensive smartphones at around 5,000 yen (about $46 US) for markets such as Asia and Africa, specializing in users who do not use games or watch videos, and are satisfied with social network, search and other minimal functions. Amegumi completed the Sunblaze OS prototype in December of last year, and said that funds raised this time will be used to add talented people to its team who can be responsible for OS development and sales.

Amegumi plans to utilize EMS (Electronics Manufacturing Service) in China to manufacture smartphones, but it faces the challenge of building sales networks around the world. It will search for possible alliances through open innovation in the future, especially with leading telcos, ad agencies, app developers, IoT product developers and other companies.

A smartphone prototype running on the Sunblaze OS
Image credit: Amegumi

Translated by Amanda Imasaka
Edited by Masaru Ikeda