Japan’s Meltin MMI raises $18M to further develop avatar robots, medical devices

From left: Mizuki Komasa (Auditor / Director-Elect, Meltin MMI), Shigeyuki Nishinaka (Executive Officer, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma), Yuki Tazaki (CCO, Meltin MMI), Masahiro Kasuya (CEO of Meltin MMI), Takahiro Uchida (Director, Meltin MMI), Tatsuya Seki (CTO, Meltin MMI), Ryota Oike (CFO, Meltin MMI)
Image credit:Meltin MMI

See the original story in Japanese.

Japanese robotics startup Meltin MMI announced today it has raised 2.02 billion yen (about $18 million US) from Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma (TSE:4506), SBI Investment and Daiichi Life Insurance (TSE:8750) in a series B round. For Meltin this follows their seed round funding (the amount raised not disclosed) from Euglena SMBC Nikko Leave-a-Nest Capital and Globalink back in January of 2016 and their series A round funding (raised about $2.1 million US) from Realtech Fund, Mirai Creation Fund (by Toyota and SMBC) and the Japanese Organization for Medical Device Development (JOMDD).

Meltin was born out from the incubator belonging to the University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo to develop cyborg technologies using bio-signals and robotics. Since its launch back in July of 2013, the company has been primarily focused on R&D and commercialization of medical and welfare equipment, avatar robots and other devices ー extending people’s physical ability. Integrating bio-signal processing technologies that accurately analyze the human’s body movements and intention with robot mechanisms that faithfully reproduce those movements in the real world, the company aims to realize the practical level of Brain Machine Interface (BMI) and cyborg.

Meltin uses the funds raised to accelerate development of the practical model of Meltant, the company’s flagship and remotely operable avatar robot, as well as medical devices.

The company won the Startup Division award at Realtech Venture of the Year by Leave a Nest back in March of 2016, followed by winning the audience’s choice of exhibitor at Microsoft Innovation Award back in May of 2016.

Translated by Masaru Ikeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy