Tokyo-based IVA, the Japanese startup behind the Fake Busters AI-powered authenticity detection service for branded goods, announced on Wednesday that it has secured about 800 million yen (about $5.8 million US) in the latest round. The amount includes loans from Mizuho Bank and Resona Bank. This is the first funding for the five-year-old startup. Participating investors are Mercari (TSE:4385), De Capital family office, and four angel investors – Shogo Kawada (co-founder of DeNA), Yuzuru Honda (founder of Freakout Holdings), Eiko Matsumura, and Yusuke Masuda.
Fake Busters offers product authenticity services by combining a team of experienced appraisers with diverse backgrounds, state-of-the-art specialized equipment, and AI-powered authenticity detection technology. The company is capable of appraising 88 brands in the fields of sneakers, luxury goods, apparel, and accessories, which have large secondary distribution demand. The company has appraised a total of 1.5 million items to date, and offers appraisal services tailored to customer needs, such as quick appraisals based on images as well as complete appraisals based on actual items.
The company uses the funds to plans to further enhance its AI capability, which currently has a 99.9% authenticity rate, to speed up the process, and to add an express option that will provide results in 60-90 minutes, previously within 48 hours. The company will expand applying the AI-based authenticity detection into further product categories such as luxury brand bags, jewelry, and trading cards.
Launched a Taiwanese office in June, the company plans to set up a subsidiary in Mainland China in August with consideration of expanding into the South Korea, Southeast Asia, and North America markets in the future. The service supports Japanese, English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean, and nine major currencies.
via PR Times