THE BRIDGE

Startups

Secai Marche secures $1.6M in series A for Asia’s shared supply chain for fresh foods

SHARE:

Tokyo- / Kuala Lumpur-based Secai Marche, the Japanese startup behind a shared food supply chain for the Southeast Asian market under the same name, announced on Tuesday that it has secured 210 million yen (about $1.6 million) from Agri-invest, Spiral Ventures Asia, and Beyond Next Ventures. This follows their previous (supposed) seed round securing 150 million yen back in May of 2021. Since its launch back in July of 2018, the company has been offering a cold supply chain connecting farmers and food producers with F&B businesses in the Southeast Asian market, especially optimized for the delivery of low-volume and high-mix orders. Supply chains for fresh produce in the region is usually operated by the supplier side, which are optimized for bulk deliveries and therefore difficult to use it for small restaurants which typically ask for small orders or niche needs. The company wants to solve the problem by building a shared supply chain allowing several different food suppliers to use for delivery. Secai Marche has launched four distribution centers in Malaysia to date, which allows them to offer a one-stop fulfillment service dealing with more than 4,000 fresh foods, including vegetables, fruits, and seafood from producers around the world….

The Secai Marche team
Image credit: Secai Marche

Tokyo- / Kuala Lumpur-based Secai Marche, the Japanese startup behind a shared food supply chain for the Southeast Asian market under the same name, announced on Tuesday that it has secured 210 million yen (about $1.6 million) from Agri-invest, Spiral Ventures Asia, and Beyond Next Ventures. This follows their previous (supposed) seed round securing 150 million yen back in May of 2021.

Since its launch back in July of 2018, the company has been offering a cold supply chain connecting farmers and food producers with F&B businesses in the Southeast Asian market, especially optimized for the delivery of low-volume and high-mix orders.

Supply chains for fresh produce in the region is usually operated by the supplier side, which are optimized for bulk deliveries and therefore difficult to use it for small restaurants which typically ask for small orders or niche needs. The company wants to solve the problem by building a shared supply chain allowing several different food suppliers to use for delivery.

Secai Marche has launched four distribution centers in Malaysia to date, which allows them to offer a one-stop fulfillment service dealing with more than 4,000 fresh foods, including vegetables, fruits, and seafood from producers around the world. Their improvement effort of delivery efficiency could help reducing the waste rate to 1%. The company will use the funds to expand its fulfillment service areas as well as enhancing demand forecast leveraging artificial intelligence technology.

In view of optimized fresh food supply chain startups in the region, Thailand’s Freshket raised $23.5 million in a Series B round in May, Y Combinator Alumni Eden Farm from Indonesia won $13.5 million in a pre-Series B round yesterday, and Singapore-based Glife raised $3 million in the 1st close of a series A round last year.

via PR Times

Japan’s robotic leg prosthesis developer BionicM secures $2.8M in extended series A round

SHARE:

Tokyo-based BionicM, the Japanese startup developing the Bio Leg robotic leg prosthesis, announced on Tuesday that it has 370 million yen (about $2.8 million) in a extended series A round. Participating investosr are NVenture Capital (a wholly owned subsidiary of NEC Capital Solutions), Shinsei Corporate Investment, University of Tokyo Innovation (UTokyo IPC), Kiraboshi Capital, Chibagin Capital, Yoshitsune Ido (former CEO, Anker Japan), AIS Partners, and Hao Yan (Representative Director, EPS Holdings). This brought the startup’s funding sum in its entire series A round up to 920 million yen (over $7 million). Among the investors, UTokyo IPC follows their investment in the first close of the series A round back in September of 2020. They will use the funds to expand sales of the product, research and develop the next model, and elemental technologies such as motion sensing and motion assist technologies as well as hiring talents. In addition to their current markets of Japan and China, the company is looking to expand into the US. Founded by Xiaojun Sun who himself had to have his right leg amputated at the age of 9 due to osteosarcoma, BionicM began research and development in 2015 at the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School…

Bio Leg
Image credit: BionicM

Tokyo-based BionicM, the Japanese startup developing the Bio Leg robotic leg prosthesis, announced on Tuesday that it has 370 million yen (about $2.8 million) in a extended series A round. Participating investosr are NVenture Capital (a wholly owned subsidiary of NEC Capital Solutions), Shinsei Corporate Investment, University of Tokyo Innovation (UTokyo IPC), Kiraboshi Capital, Chibagin Capital, Yoshitsune Ido (former CEO, Anker Japan), AIS Partners, and Hao Yan (Representative Director, EPS Holdings).

This brought the startup’s funding sum in its entire series A round up to 920 million yen (over $7 million). Among the investors, UTokyo IPC follows their investment in the first close of the series A round back in September of 2020. They will use the funds to expand sales of the product, research and develop the next model, and elemental technologies such as motion sensing and motion assist technologies as well as hiring talents. In addition to their current markets of Japan and China, the company is looking to expand into the US.

Founded by Xiaojun Sun who himself had to have his right leg amputated at the age of 9 due to osteosarcoma, BionicM began research and development in 2015 at the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Information Science and Technology. Of the 10 million potential users of prosthetic legs worldwide, only about 40% actually have access to them because they are expensive or have limited functionality. The company established a corporate entity in 2018 to commercialize the product in order to bring a high-performance prosthetic leg to all those who need it at an affordable price.

Product showcased in in Beijing in October of 2021.
Image credit: BionicM

According to BionicM, more than 99% of the global prosthetic leg market deals with passive type, and has not benefited from the technological advancements that have taken place in recent years with the proliferation of robotic technology. Passive leg prostheses not only place a heavy physical burden on the user, but also place a mental burden on the user, as they are unable to walk naturally or take turns walking up and down stairs in both legs, making them uncomfortable to watch. Robotic prostheses have the potential to solve this problem.

Since the launch of the Bio Leg commercial version in Japan and China last year, the company has been offering the product via a B2B2C model where robotic leg modules are offered to artificial limb factories to be built into sockets for lower-limb amputees. We were told that a typical powered prosthetic leg costs over 10 million yen ($77,000) in contrast with a passive type for about 1 million yen ($7,700). Bio Leg is available for less than one-third the price of a powered one while adopting robotic technology.

Acquisition of gait data with sensors mounted on Bio Leg.
Image credit: BionicM

Given the price tag, government subsidies are likely to be essential for the robotic leg to become widely available. The company is currently testing the product with the aim to apply for such a program next year. Although there are many prosthetic leg users in China, the market for high-end ones is apparently small due to a lack of public support. Therefore, the company is considering expanding into the US market with FDA approval in mind where there is a possibility of obtaining medical insurance coverage.

BionicM intends to explore new possibilities by taking advantage of the product’s ability to acquire gait data as well as its function as a robotic prosthesis. Although prosthetists and physical therapists who assist in the fitting and use of prosthetic limbs are professionals with specialized training, they often rely on their own expertise and knowledge. If the rehabilitation process can be visualized using data, communication with users will become easier and rehabilitation can be expected to become more efficient.

“Github for Dapps” from Japan gets $4.5M in seed round to ease smart contract dev

SHARE:

Singapore-registered Bunzz, the startup behind a development platform focused on Dapps (decentralized applications leveraging blockchain technologies) under the same name, announced on Tuesday that it has secured about 600 million yen (about $4.5 million US) in a seed round. Since its official launch back in January of 2022, the platform has attracted over 8,000 Dapp developers worldwide. Participating investors in this round are: Arriba Studio Coincheck Labs DG Daiwa Ventures gmjp GMO Web3 GREE Ventures Hyperithm Kotaro Tamura Kazutaka Mori mint Spiral Ventures 01Booster Capital Ceres Corporation (TSE: 3696) Bunzz was incorporated in Singapore in May of 2022 by Japanese serial entrepreneur Kenta Akutsu as a spin-off of his Tokyo-based web3 startup LasTrust. Prior to Bunzz, he and his team developed a blockchain certificate issuing service for enterprises, which was later sold to CyberLinks (TSE:3683). Bunzz initially started as a project at LasTrust in 2021. The platform offers an infrastructure for developing smart contracts, which is essential for Dapp development. By making smart contract development processes more secure and easier, it lowers the barrier for developers who do not yet have extensive knowledge or experience in Dapp development. The company claims that more than 2,800 Dapp projects have been deployed…

Image credit: Bunzz

Singapore-registered Bunzz, the startup behind a development platform focused on Dapps (decentralized applications leveraging blockchain technologies) under the same name, announced on Tuesday that it has secured about 600 million yen (about $4.5 million US) in a seed round. Since its official launch back in January of 2022, the platform has attracted over 8,000 Dapp developers worldwide. Participating investors in this round are:

  • Arriba Studio
  • Coincheck Labs
  • DG Daiwa Ventures
  • gmjp
  • GMO Web3
  • GREE Ventures
  • Hyperithm
  • Kotaro Tamura
  • Kazutaka Mori
  • mint
  • Spiral Ventures
  • 01Booster Capital
  • Ceres Corporation (TSE: 3696)

Bunzz was incorporated in Singapore in May of 2022 by Japanese serial entrepreneur Kenta Akutsu as a spin-off of his Tokyo-based web3 startup LasTrust. Prior to Bunzz, he and his team developed a blockchain certificate issuing service for enterprises, which was later sold to CyberLinks (TSE:3683). Bunzz initially started as a project at LasTrust in 2021.

The platform offers an infrastructure for developing smart contracts, which is essential for Dapp development. By making smart contract development processes more secure and easier, it lowers the barrier for developers who do not yet have extensive knowledge or experience in Dapp development.

The company claims that more than 2,800 Dapp projects have been deployed onto the blockchain via the platform, which helps them gain recognition of developers as the “Web3 version of GitHub”. In the future, they plan to introduce token incentives to encourage users to reuse useful smart contract codes developed by other Dapp developers via the platform.

via PR Times

Japanese rocket developer Interstellar Technologies closes series D round with $30M

SHARE:

Headquartered in Hokkaido, Japanese space startup Intersteller Technologies announced on Monday that it has closed a series D round with 3.8 billion yen (about $30 million US) in funding. The round brought the company’s funding sum up to date to over 5.4 billion yen (over $42 million US) as far as we know. Investors participating in the round, including those previously announced, are: SBI Investment Nisso Kosan (TSE: 6569) Satudra Holdings (TSE: 3544) Reiichi Sasaki (President, Ichigo Ventures) De Aardappeleters Norimasa Yamamoto (President, Heiwa Shuzo) Kazunori Asada (Chairman, Howdy) Hiroshi Yamamoto (Representative Director, Smaregi) Suncor Industries CyberAgent (TSE: 4751) Teruyasu Nishino (President, Yuko Kai) INCLUSIVE Makoto Fujita (CEO, Inclusive Seven Stars Capital Onsen Dojo Masaki Yamamoto (CEO, Chatwork) RDS Mizuki Nakajima (CEO, Coly) Anna Nakajima (Co-founder, Coly) IMV (TSE: 7760) Tomoya Nakano (President/CEO,  i-plug) Kadokawa (TSE: 9468) Hagiwara Construction Industries Interstellar Technologies’ MOMO No. 7 and MOMO No. 6 rockets reached space in July of 2021, which let the company mark three successes in terms of reaching space with the MOMO No. 3 rocket launched back in May of 2019. The company is currently in full-scale development of the ZERO rocket which is aimed to be launched in FY2023. The…

The Interstellar Technologies team
Image credit: Interstellar Technologies

Headquartered in Hokkaido, Japanese space startup Intersteller Technologies announced on Monday that it has closed a series D round with 3.8 billion yen (about $30 million US) in funding. The round brought the company’s funding sum up to date to over 5.4 billion yen (over $42 million US) as far as we know. Investors participating in the round, including those previously announced, are:

  • SBI Investment
  • Nisso Kosan (TSE: 6569)
  • Satudra Holdings (TSE: 3544)
  • Reiichi Sasaki (President, Ichigo Ventures)
  • De Aardappeleters
  • Norimasa Yamamoto (President, Heiwa Shuzo)
  • Kazunori Asada (Chairman, Howdy)
  • Hiroshi Yamamoto (Representative Director, Smaregi)
  • Suncor Industries
  • CyberAgent (TSE: 4751)
  • Teruyasu Nishino (President, Yuko Kai)
  • INCLUSIVE
  • Makoto Fujita (CEO, Inclusive
  • Seven Stars Capital
  • Onsen Dojo
  • Masaki Yamamoto (CEO, Chatwork)
  • RDS
  • Mizuki Nakajima (CEO, Coly)
  • Anna Nakajima (Co-founder, Coly)
  • IMV (TSE: 7760)
  • Tomoya Nakano (President/CEO,  i-plug)
  • Kadokawa (TSE: 9468)
  • Hagiwara Construction Industries

Interstellar Technologies’ MOMO No. 7 and MOMO No. 6 rockets reached space in July of 2021, which let the company mark three successes in terms of reaching space with the MOMO No. 3 rocket launched back in May of 2019. The company is currently in full-scale development of the ZERO rocket which is aimed to be launched in FY2023. The funds will be used for research and development, capital investment, hiring talents, and material costs to further accelerate the development of the ZERO rocket.

Interstellar Technologies aims to realize a future in which space is within reach for everyone by providing low-cost, convenient space transportation services. Establishing its satellite development-focused subsidiary Our Stars in early 2021, the company is working on offering rockets and satellites in an one-stop solution. In recent years, due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Japan and Western countries have been unable to use Russian rockets, which used to account for about 20% of the world’s space transportation, and Interstellar Technologies sees this situation as a tailwind for its business.

via PR Times

Japanese sake brewer Wakaze secures $7.6M series B to boost US, China expansion

SHARE:

Japanese sake brewing startup Wakaze announced on Wednesday that it has secured about 1 billion yen (about $7.5 million) in a series B round. The round was led by Jafco Group (TSE:8595) with participation from Takara Holdings (TSE:2531), DBJ Capital, Egg Forward, SMBC Venture Capital in addition to an unnamed angel investor. This brought their funding sum to date up to about 1.5 billion yen ($11.3 million) as far as disclosed. Jafco Group followed their series A round investment. Wakaze will use the funds to expand its business in Europe, the U.S., and the Asian region centered on China through strenthening advertising, establishing an office and hiring personnel in the U.S. in addition to expanding its production facilities in France. The company has partnered with Takara Holdings, one of the investors in this round, to produce Wakaze’s sake products at the manufacturing facility of Takara’s US subsidiary, and will also consider similar expansion efforts in China. Wakaze aims to bring the wave of craft sake and D2C to the world of sake. Prior to founding the company back in 2016, CEO Takuma Inagawa studied at the École Centrale Paris as a French government scholarship student and then worked as a…

Image credit: Wakaze

Japanese sake brewing startup Wakaze announced on Wednesday that it has secured about 1 billion yen (about $7.5 million) in a series B round. The round was led by Jafco Group (TSE:8595) with participation from Takara Holdings (TSE:2531), DBJ Capital, Egg Forward, SMBC Venture Capital in addition to an unnamed angel investor. This brought their funding sum to date up to about 1.5 billion yen ($11.3 million) as far as disclosed. Jafco Group followed their series A round investment.

Wakaze will use the funds to expand its business in Europe, the U.S., and the Asian region centered on China through strenthening advertising, establishing an office and hiring personnel in the U.S. in addition to expanding its production facilities in France. The company has partnered with Takara Holdings, one of the investors in this round, to produce Wakaze’s sake products at the manufacturing facility of Takara’s US subsidiary, and will also consider similar expansion efforts in China.

Wakaze aims to bring the wave of craft sake and D2C to the world of sake. Prior to founding the company back in 2016, CEO Takuma Inagawa studied at the École Centrale Paris as a French government scholarship student and then worked as a business strategy consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. In addition to developing new sake brewing recipes in Japan’s eastern prefecture of Yamagata, the company established a sake brewery called Kura Grand Paris in Suburban Paris back in November of 2019 to offer locally brewed Japanese sake for the French market.

via PR Times

Japanese founder-led employee benefit platform Venteny files for IPO in Indonesia

SHARE:

Jakarta, Indonesia-based VENTENY Fortuna International announced on Thursday that its application to list on the Indonesia Stock Exchange has been approved. The company will be the first Japanese founder-led startup to be listed in the Southeast Asia region. It secured seed round funding back in February of 2017 followed by series A round funding from SV-FINTECH Fund managed by Voyage Group (now known as Carta Holdings, TSE:3688) and SV Frontier in December of 2017. It subsequently became an equity-method affiliate of Carta Holdings. In Southeast Asian countries, the lack of educational endowment insurance and health insurance systems means that many employees do not have the means to pay for their family’s higher education, medical care, or other needs. On the other hand, there are no financial services available for individuals to easily obtain loans, and corporate employees often tend to change jobs based simply on the amount of money they are paid, not on job content or job satisfaction. Financial inclusion, which aims to solve these money pains, is a bustling business area where fintech startups in the region are jostling for ideas. Venteny was founded in April of 2015 by Japanese entrepreneur Junichiro Waide, with headquarters in Singapore. Initially,…

Venteny founder and CEO Junichiro Waide

Jakarta, Indonesia-based VENTENY Fortuna International announced on Thursday that its application to list on the Indonesia Stock Exchange has been approved. The company will be the first Japanese founder-led startup to be listed in the Southeast Asia region. It secured seed round funding back in February of 2017 followed by series A round funding from SV-FINTECH Fund managed by Voyage Group (now known as Carta Holdings, TSE:3688) and SV Frontier in December of 2017. It subsequently became an equity-method affiliate of Carta Holdings.

In Southeast Asian countries, the lack of educational endowment insurance and health insurance systems means that many employees do not have the means to pay for their family’s higher education, medical care, or other needs. On the other hand, there are no financial services available for individuals to easily obtain loans, and corporate employees often tend to change jobs based simply on the amount of money they are paid, not on job content or job satisfaction. Financial inclusion, which aims to solve these money pains, is a bustling business area where fintech startups in the region are jostling for ideas.

Venteny was founded in April of 2015 by Japanese entrepreneur Junichiro Waide, with headquarters in Singapore. Initially, the company launched a corporate benefits outsourcing service business in the Philippines, which had grown to include more than 200 companies thanks to successful partnerships with major local banks and other organizations in the country. User companies allow their employees to receive benefits and discounts at city facilities and stores, as well as short-term loans in advance of their payday. Needless to say, this is an effective way for companies to motivate their employees to keep working as long as possible.

Venteny’s Super App
Image credit: Venteny

Just when all was going well, the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic hit them. With all companies forced to either shut down or slow down thei business, Waide decided to close his Philippine operations out of sheer desperation, as he saw no growth potential. He rebuilt Venteny’s business from scratch in Indonesia and expanded the business by serving local companies. The company was eventually permitted to go public, approximately as early as three and a half years after taking the helm in the new market (the headquarters was officially moved to Indonesia in January of 2021).

This service was made possible by allowing Venteny’s client companies to provide loans to their employees as long as the company’s creditworthiness could be verified. In Indonesia, the company has launched an unsecured low-interest loan service not only for individuals, but also for small and micro businesses. Having four offices in Indonesia, the company plans to increase it to 15 next year as well as reactivating in the Philippines and expansion into Thailand and Vietnam.

Added at 6pm J.S.T., Nov.24.:

According to the prospectus, Venteny plans to sell 939 million shares, or a 15% stake, through the IPO at a price of Rp350-450 per share (about $0.022-0.029 US), with a target maximum raise of Rp423 billion ($27 million US). The company’s market cap, based on these values, is assumed to be Rp2.8 trillion rupiah (approximately $180 million US).

Revised at 6pm J.S.T., Nov. 25.:

Led by Carta Holdings (TSE:3688, 24.77%), the company’s main shareholders include CEO Waide (24.51%), Ocean Capital (13.06%), SBI Holdings (TSE:8473, 11.62%), KK Fund (10.37%), Relo Club (8.83%), SV-FINTECH (2.91%), Karya Bersama Bangsa (1.22%), Makoto Takano (0.39%), and Mamoru Taniya (0.39%).

Japan’s social publishing platform Note files for IPO

SHARE:

Tokyo-based Note, the Japanese startup behind a social publishing platform under the same name, announced on Friday that its initial listing application on the Tokyo Stock Exchange had been approved. The company will be listed on the TSE Growth Market on December 21 with plans to offer 210,000 shares for public subscription and to sell 191,800 shares in over-allotment options for a total of 1,069,300 shares. The underwriting will be led by Daiwa Securities while Note’s ticker code will be 5243. Based on the company’s estimated issue price is 300 yen (about $2.1) per share, its market cap is approximately 4.4 billion yen (about $31 million). The company apparently decided to have a down-round IPO, a steep discount from its private valuation of 33.8 billion yen (about $260 million in the currency exchange rate then) confirmed in a pre-IPO round back in May. Its share price range will be released on December 5 with bookbuilding scheduled to start on December 6 and pricing on December 12. The final public offering price will be determined on December 13. According to its consolidated statement as of December of 2021, the company posted revenue of 1.88 billion yen ($13.4 million) with an ordinary…

Image credit: Note

Tokyo-based Note, the Japanese startup behind a social publishing platform under the same name, announced on Friday that its initial listing application on the Tokyo Stock Exchange had been approved. The company will be listed on the TSE Growth Market on December 21 with plans to offer 210,000 shares for public subscription and to sell 191,800 shares in over-allotment options for a total of 1,069,300 shares. The underwriting will be led by Daiwa Securities while Note’s ticker code will be 5243.

Based on the company’s estimated issue price is 300 yen (about $2.1) per share, its market cap is approximately 4.4 billion yen (about $31 million). The company apparently decided to have a down-round IPO, a steep discount from its private valuation of 33.8 billion yen (about $260 million in the currency exchange rate then) confirmed in a pre-IPO round back in May.

Its share price range will be released on December 5 with bookbuilding scheduled to start on December 6 and pricing on December 12. The final public offering price will be determined on December 13. According to its consolidated statement as of December of 2021, the company posted revenue of 1.88 billion yen ($13.4 million) with an ordinary loss of 434.5 million yen ($3.1 million).

Under its previous name of Piece of Cake, Note was founded in December of 2011 by Sadaaki Kato, previously a book editor at Japanese publishers like Ascii and Diamond. The company initially launched a service called Cakes, which had been providing users with content created by multiple authors on a subscription basis, but it terminated in 2022. The company then launched the Note platform, which allows users to sell user-generated content to readers in what’s called C2C (consumer-to-consumer) format.

The platform is often compared to Medium because of its appearance, but Medium asks readers to pay for good content while Note charges readers and also collects fees from content writers. In March of 2019, the company launched a service called Note Pro, which makes it easy for companies to create their owned media.

Led by founder and CEO Sadaaki Kato (34.87%), the company’s main shareholders include Femto Growth Capital holds (13.11% through two funds), Nikkei (6.07%), Tencent’s Image Frame Investment (5.94%), Jafco (5.82%), CyberAgent Capital (4.35%), UUUM (TSE: 3990, 2.51%), TV Tokyo Holdings (TSE: 9413, 2.51%), and SMBC Venture Capital (2.02%).

via JPX

Japan’s brand enablement platform AnyMind Group files for IPO

SHARE:

Tokyo-headquartered AnyMind Group, running its business mainly in Japan and other Asian countries, announced on Tuessday that its IPO application to list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange had been approved. The company will be listed on the TSE Growth Market on December 15 with plans to offer 885,300 shares for public subscription and to sell 403,400 shares in over-allotment options for a total of 1,804,200 shares. The underwriting will be led by Mizuho Securities and Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities while AnyMind’s ticker code will be 5027. Based on the company’s estimated issue price is 970 yen (about $7) per share, its market cap is approximately 55.3 billion yen (about $400 million). Its share price range will be released on November 29 with bookbuilding scheduled to start on November 30 and pricing on December 6. The final public offering price will be determined on December 7. According to its consolidated statement as of December of 2021, the company posted revenue of 19.3 billion yen ($138 million) with an ordinary loss of 53.1 million yen ($381,000). AnyMind was founded in Singapore in 2016 by Kosuke Ufuka (CEO) and Yukihiko Komutsumi (Chief Commercial Officer) under its original name of AdAsia Holdings. The…

Image credit: AnyMind Group

Tokyo-headquartered AnyMind Group, running its business mainly in Japan and other Asian countries, announced on Tuessday that its IPO application to list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange had been approved. The company will be listed on the TSE Growth Market on December 15 with plans to offer 885,300 shares for public subscription and to sell 403,400 shares in over-allotment options for a total of 1,804,200 shares. The underwriting will be led by Mizuho Securities and Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities while AnyMind’s ticker code will be 5027.

Based on the company’s estimated issue price is 970 yen (about $7) per share, its market cap is approximately 55.3 billion yen (about $400 million). Its share price range will be released on November 29 with bookbuilding scheduled to start on November 30 and pricing on December 6. The final public offering price will be determined on December 7. According to its consolidated statement as of December of 2021, the company posted revenue of 19.3 billion yen ($138 million) with an ordinary loss of 53.1 million yen ($381,000).

AnyMind was founded in Singapore in 2016 by Kosuke Ufuka (CEO) and Yukihiko Komutsumi (Chief Commercial Officer) under its original name of AdAsia Holdings. The company provides brands with a one-stop platform supporting production management, e-commerce, marketing, and logistics management, and currently has 19 offices in 13 countries and regions, mainly in Asia.

The company’s IPO application to the Mothers market was approved by the Tokyo Stock Exchange in February, but the listing was later postponed due to cooling investor sentiment in the wake of Russia’s invasion to Ukraine.

Led by co-founder and CEO Kosuke Sogo (37.21%), the company’s major shareholders include co-founder and CCO Otohiko Kozutsumi (9.54%), SMBC Trust Bank (6.77%), JATF VI (6.63%), JAFCO Asia (4.81%), JIC Venture Growth (3.92%), JP Investment (2.86%), Japan Growth Capital Investment (managed by Nomura Sparx Investment, 2.42%).

See also:

Japan’s FinTech unicorn Opn acquires US payments startup MerchantE

SHARE:

Tokyo-based payments startup Opn (formerly Omise, formerly Synqa) just announced that it has acquired acquired MerchaneE, the startup running the same business based out of Georgia, US. The deal is reportedly worth 50 billion yen (about $360 million). Nikkei says this is one of the largest acquisitions of a foreign company by a Japanese startup. While Opn has many clients in Japan and Southeast Asia, it aims to expand into the US and Europe with the acquisition. This will make Opn’s client base, including MerchantE, reach over 20,000 clients and help them hit over US$19 billion in total payment processing. Opn (formerly Omise, formerly Synqa) was founded in 2013 by CEO Jun Hasegawa and COO Ezra Don Harinsut. The company secured $120 million US in a Series C+ round in May, which made them become Japan’s 5th unicorn (excluding those which have already made exit). Their clients include Toyota Motor and Thai duty-free giant King Power. The company claims that it serves more than 7,000 merchants, mainly in Japan and Southeast Asia, including McDonald’s and Toyota Motor.

Image credit: Opn

Tokyo-based payments startup Opn (formerly Omise, formerly Synqa) just announced that it has acquired acquired MerchaneE, the startup running the same business based out of Georgia, US. The deal is reportedly worth 50 billion yen (about $360 million). Nikkei says this is one of the largest acquisitions of a foreign company by a Japanese startup. While Opn has many clients in Japan and Southeast Asia, it aims to expand into the US and Europe with the acquisition. This will make Opn’s client base, including MerchantE, reach over 20,000 clients and help them hit over US$19 billion in total payment processing.

Opn (formerly Omise, formerly Synqa) was founded in 2013 by CEO Jun Hasegawa and COO Ezra Don Harinsut. The company secured $120 million US in a Series C+ round in May, which made them become Japan’s 5th unicorn (excluding those which have already made exit). Their clients include Toyota Motor and Thai duty-free giant King Power. The company claims that it serves more than 7,000 merchants, mainly in Japan and Southeast Asia, including McDonald’s and Toyota Motor.

Video translation, subtitling platform Auris secures $1.3M to add synthesized voice-over function

SHARE:

Singapore-based AI Communis, the startup behind the platform integrating speech recognition and natural language processing technologies, announced on Monday that it has raised $1.3 million US in a seed round. Participating investors include UTokyo Innovation Platform (UTokyo IPC), DG Incubation, The Seed in addition to several unnamed angel investors. This follows their extended angel round back in April when The Seed previously invested in the company. The latest round brought their funding sum up to $2.1 million US. AI Communis was founded in April of 2020 by Nobuhiko Suzuki, who has been dealing with the business of translating, adding subtitles, and editing video clips. These multilingulization processes, especially needed for global marketing, had been handled manually for a long time, but the significantly improved accuracy of automation tools such as Amazon Transcribe, DeepL, Google Translate has recently made it possible to be mostly automated. The company launched a web app called Auris last year, which allows users to handle a series of tasks such as translation, subtitling, and video editing in a cloud environment. It currently supports 16 languages spoken across the Asian region, and has 87,000 users from 110 countries as of this month. Leveraging the app, the company…

Auris
Image credit AI Communis

Singapore-based AI Communis, the startup behind the platform integrating speech recognition and natural language processing technologies, announced on Monday that it has raised $1.3 million US in a seed round. Participating investors include UTokyo Innovation Platform (UTokyo IPC), DG Incubation, The Seed in addition to several unnamed angel investors. This follows their extended angel round back in April when The Seed previously invested in the company. The latest round brought their funding sum up to $2.1 million US.

AI Communis was founded in April of 2020 by Nobuhiko Suzuki, who has been dealing with the business of translating, adding subtitles, and editing video clips. These multilingulization processes, especially needed for global marketing, had been handled manually for a long time, but the significantly improved accuracy of automation tools such as Amazon Transcribe, DeepL, Google Translate has recently made it possible to be mostly automated.

The company launched a web app called Auris last year, which allows users to handle a series of tasks such as translation, subtitling, and video editing in a cloud environment. It currently supports 16 languages spoken across the Asian region, and has 87,000 users from 110 countries as of this month. Leveraging the app, the company launched a new business where crowdsourced gig workers help influencers and company marketers turn their video clips into any of these different languages.

With the academic guidance from speech synthesis researcher Dr. Shinnosuke Takamichi, the company started a new development this summer to add an interpreted voice-over function to the platform. Dr. Takamichi is Assistant Professor at Saruwatari & Koayama lab., Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, University of Tokyo. If the implemntation comes true, this will enable interpreted voice dubbing as well as translation subtitling, which is expected to further expand its applications. It is unclear whether the phonemes of the dubbed synthetic voice will be based on on the original speaker’s audio.

AI Communis will use the funds to improve transcription and video editing functions for YouTubers and marketing video creators in aim to offer an easy localization experience when transmitting content in their non-native languages. The company aims to implement the voice-over function by next spring. Going forward, the company plans to expand its business in the markets having many heavy Auris users among Japan and Southeast Asian countries.