Japanese AR sports platform provider Meleap raises $6.6M to cultivate viewership

The Meleap team
Image credit: Meleap

See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Meleap, the Japanese startup developing the Hado augmented reality(AR)-powerd sports game series and expanding a franchise of arcade stores that offer gaming experiences in town, announced on Thursday that it has raised 720 million yen (about $6.3M US) from I-Mercury Capital, DBJ Capital, IncubateFund, Canal Ventures, Yugengaisya Hide Inter, and SMBC Venture Capital. The company has secured a cumulative total of 1.11 billion yen (around $9.8M US) in fundraising so far. It plans to use the funds raised to increase the store numbers, and with the prospect of forming a pro-league in its sights, it will strengthen the business pertaining to viewership.

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Hado is an AR sports game that requires players to wear a head mounted display and an arm sensor to battle each other three on three. Players use energy balls and shields freely to earn points over a period of 80 seconds.

The company currently operates 52 stores in 23 countries in Asia, North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. 1.3 million people have played the game and the overseas sales ratio is 60%.

Image credit: Meleap

Additionally, with regards to the pro-league, which is the reason for the fundraising this time around, Meleap will hold the Hado World Cup on December 8th. It has assembled the national teams that won the preliminary rounds held in seven countries around the world, including Japan and the UK, in order to decide the world’s best. With the evolution to a pro-league, from now the company will broadcast content for viewers to watch as teams compete in the game. Furthermore, it has also prepared prizes for the programs.

Translated by Amanda Imasaka
Edited by Masaru Ikeda