This is part of our coverage of B Dash Camp 2018 Spring in Fukuoka.
18 companies passed the initial screening for the Pitch Arena competition of B Dash Camp 2018 Spring in Fukuoka, a semi-annual startup conference taking place in the western city of Japan, and of those, six companies were chosen as finalists. Kakehashi, the Japanese startup behind a cloud-based medication profiling system for pharmacists called Musubi, walked away with the grand prize.
The judges for the final round were as follows:
- Yusuke Asakura (Signifiant)
- Yoshinori Fukushima (Gunosy)
- Shinji Kimura (DAS Capital)
- Hironao Kunimitsu (Gumi)
- Genki Shiota (Akatsuki)
This article will give a rundown of each company and their pitches.
Grand Prize, Caster Biz Special Award winner: Musubi by Kakehashi
Musubi, provided by Kakehashi, is a cloud-based medication profiling system for pharmacies and pharmacists. There are 60,000 pharmacies in Japan, outnumbering even convenience stores. Filling out the medication history for each patient is one heavy task of pharmacies. On average, it is said that it takes two hours to fill in the medication history for 40 patients, but by introducing Musubi, this can be compressed down to 15 minutes (⅛).
A patient comes to the pharmacy and medication is dispensed based on the prescription. After this, the pharmacist instructs the patient about the medication, but with Musubi this medical instruction takes place on a tablet, and according to the buttons pushed by the pharmacist a medication history is recorded. In four months from the start of the service, the company received inquiries from 7,000 stores, accounting for 11% of the 60,000 pharmacies nationwide. In the future, after the ban on offering medication instruction remotely is lifted, the company is also considering offering a drug delivery service.
Special Award winner: Sumaho Hoken by JustInCase
JustInCase is an InsurTech startup founded in 2016 by Kazy Hata (current CEO), who has worked in the actuarial field at Milliman, a leading actuarial consulting firm, along with his team. The company is currently preparing Sumaho Hoken (literally meaning Smartphone Insurance), an insurance service to cover repair costs in the event of a malfunction for smartphone users. It uses AI (artificial intelligence) algorithms to analyze user behavior patterns, and conducts a risk assessment for each user allowing the company to provide a service with optimum premiums.
Sumaho Hoken is classified as a P2P (peer-to-peer) insurance which applies the concept of a sharing economy to insurance, i.e. friends and groups of users (pools) who are interested in insurance against the same risk pay the insurance premiums, and a system is adopted whereby insurance money is paid out from this pool. To date, the company has raised seed funds from 500 Startups Japan, Naoki Aoyagi (CEO of Marcari’s payments-focused subsidiary Merpay), and others.
HERP by HERP
Herp provides a platform of the same name which automates the many tasks related to office work for recruitment. “Herp” automatically unifies tasks such as the creation of job listings, the creation of information on candidates, the notification of selection results, management of contact to the company, etc. By automating tasks that previously required an assistant employed by the company, employee costs can be reduced by 75% or more. Up to now, 500 companies have pre-registered.
The company believes the reason why recruitment options are not evolving is because platforms are separated by mediums and agents, which limits them. It will make Herp an open adoption marketing SaaS (software as a service) that can cooperate with multiple mediums and agents. In the future, the company plans to provide functions like predictions of investment effectiveness separate from the marketing channel, an automated AB test for job listings, and automated document selection.
LaboNavi by Inner Resource
Research department rules for purchasing are often put in place to ensure fraud prevention and optimization. Purchasing management requires a comparison of delivery prices from multiple vendors through competitive bidding, checking this with multiple people, sharing the results, and before ordering, one of the steps necessary in the process is to physically write it out. While some purchasing management systems have been introduced, the disadvantage remains that they are specialized systems, high in operation costs and difficult for users.
LaboNavi, developed by Inner Resource, is a general-purpose cloud service that enables users to complete business from purchase management to order placement strictly in accordance with the industry flow. Research departments that have introduced LaboNavi have seen workflow streamlined, the number of quotation requests sent to suppliers has been reduced to ⅓, and purchase prices have decreased by 8% on average. The company is backed by Tokyo-based VC firm Anri.
Logikura by NewRevo
NewRevo’s Logikura wants to tackle about $507B US problem of excess inventory at small and medium sized enterprises in Japan. Managers in charge of ordering for companies often place orders based on intuition and experience, which creates excess inventory. In order to deliver a data-driven ordering environment, Logikura provides demand forecasts based on economic trends, weather forecast, competitive analysis, damage rates, and other data.
There are no services in Japan there that offer everything from inventory control to demand forecasts in one package, so Logikura has an advantage in this respect. The company has received inquiries from more than 60 companies so far, and aims to acquire 5,000 companies in 5 years and reduce domestic excess inventory by 30%. It plans to offer the service at a rate of 600,000 yen (about $5,600 US) per year depending on the scale. In the future, NewRevo has plans to offer a marketplace function that allows users to trade excess inventory/stock shortage, as well as a lending function that uses stock as collateral.
The company participated in the 15th batch of Open Network Lab’s Seed Accelerator Program and raised 50 million yen (about $470K US) from Genesia Ventures in a pre-Series A round last December.
Yumerium by Subdream Studios
Yumerium, provided by Subdream Studios, is a platform that uses blockchain to reward users for playing, reviewing, and sharing games. By pouring the concept of the token economy into game players and communities, the company wants to create an ecosystem that will benefit not only game makers but also players and influencers while acquiring popular game titles.
In the meantime, the company will expand its services by producing its own titles and network, and will start to handle third party titles from 2019 onwards. Following this, it is planning to grow as a crowdfunding platform. So far in its seed round, Subdream Studios has raised $1.6 million US from Genesia Ventures, DeNA, Cognitive Investment, HTC, and others.
Translated by Amanda Imasaka
Edited by Masaru Ikeda