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Tokyo-based Ginkan, developing and offering an AI-powered social restaurant discovery app called SynchroLife, announced on Friday that it has fundraised 80 million yen ($720,000 US) in a seed round. Tokyo-based internet marketing company Ceres (TSE:3696) and Fujio Komura, former chairman of Cybird Holdings, participated this round.
For Ginkan, this follows their angel fundraising of 30 million yen (about $280,000 US) back in September of 2017. Komura, one of the investors participating in this round, has also participated in the previous round. The company has raised a total of 110 million yen (about $1 million US) since its foundation.
Coinciding with the funding, Ginkan has partnered with Ceres to explore synergy with the latter’s mobile point media platforms serving 3.5 million active members as well as aim to develop a blockchain-based service which can be connected with offline businesses.
SynchroLife is a mobile social networking app that allows users to connect with each others by sharing restaurant reviews. Ginkan rolled out a major update on the app earlier this month so that it can guarantee the accuracy and transparency of the reviews leveraging blockchain technologies. Users are incentivised by receiving SynchroCoin tokens in accordance with how much their contributed articles are evaluated by other users.
SynchroLife boasts over 17,000 reviews with 420,000 pictures while about 20% out of all the users have posted their reviews. Available in English, Korean and Chinese as well as Japanese since July of 2017, the app can accept reviews of restaurants in 155 countries from around the world. The company has received user registrations from 82 countries and review posts from 48 countries.
Ceres has recently accelerated investments in blockchain startups including cryptocurrency exchanges such as Bitbank and Coincheck in addition to blockchain startups like Orb (Distributed Ledger Technology developer) and Sivira (blockchain app developer). In addition, the firm announced in April that it has partnered with Good Luck 3, the developer of a dApp game called Crypto-Oink.
Furthermore, Ceres has been offering ways to turn online value into real one by allowing users to convert rewards into real money or e-money. With regard to this context, Ceres recently unveiled it has partnered with Japanese crowdfunding platform Campfire to allow users to back campaigning projects using rewards within this year.
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy