THE BRIDGE

Search artificial intelligence

Japan’s Open8 raises $13M, launches AI-powered video creation tool for business

SHARE:

  See the original story in Japanese. There are many “seeing is believing” cases in reality; children smiling while participating in a social activity, a small restaurant’s much-vaunted new menu, or marketing documents and employee training manuals that are difficult to explain with words. A cloud solution which can realize these things was launched this month. The keyword for the service is AI (artificial intelligence). Tokyo-based Open8, providing the LeTronc video magazine and some video ad network services, earlier this month launched the AI-powered video creating SaaS (software as a service) named Video Brain.It charges 150,000 yen (about $1,300) monthly, in addition to requiring an annual contract for allowing users to create 20 videos a month maximum. At the same time the company announced it had raised money from WiL (World Innovation Lab) and Mirai Sousei Fund (by SPARX Group). The raised amount is 1.5 billion yen (about $13 million) and the investment ratio was not disclosed. The total secured amount of Open8 reached 4 billion yen (about $36 million). The firm also announced that it had invited Hiroto Ebata who is known for marketing promotion activities of Coca Cola Japan as its video business advisor. See also: Open8, Japan’s…

 

videobrain_featuredimage
Video Brain
Image credit: Open8

See the original story in Japanese.

There are many “seeing is believing” cases in reality; children smiling while participating in a social activity, a small restaurant’s much-vaunted new menu, or marketing documents and employee training manuals that are difficult to explain with words. A cloud solution which can realize these things was launched this month.

The keyword for the service is AI (artificial intelligence). Tokyo-based Open8, providing the LeTronc video magazine and some video ad network services, earlier this month launched the AI-powered video creating SaaS (software as a service) named Video Brain.It charges 150,000 yen (about $1,300) monthly, in addition to requiring an annual contract for allowing users to create 20 videos a month maximum.

At the same time the company announced it had raised money from WiL (World Innovation Lab) and Mirai Sousei Fund (by SPARX Group). The raised amount is 1.5 billion yen (about $13 million) and the investment ratio was not disclosed. The total secured amount of Open8 reached 4 billion yen (about $36 million). The firm also announced that it had invited Hiroto Ebata who is known for marketing promotion activities of Coca Cola Japan as its video business advisor.

See also:

The Video Brain platform has developed for enterprise users based on the LeTronc auto-video creation engine LeTronc AI which was launched last October. Analyzing user’s viewing patterns based on retrieval query and others, LeTronc AI automatically edits enormous number of video/  photo materials to match them with each desired scene. With this engine, the firm has been creating and providing 1,000 videos monthly with just 70 staffers.

The platform provides the necessary solution especially focusing on video material editing. Specifically, users upload video / photo materials and a manuscript (text) of the story from browser and choose a template. The platform recognizes the meaning of each uploaded content, and automatically matches them and edits a video content.

open8-videobrain-2
Video Brain’s dashboard
Image credit: Open8

There were already similar services for video creation, but users had to input materials manually and edit the text themselves. The platform eliminated the need for all of these processes. As I took a look at the demonstration, it seemed fantastic that all materials were uploaded just by drag-and-drop and then a video was created by one-click only. The firm began test operation targeting enterprise users this June; it is used for creating video material for news in a major newspaper company or employee training video / sales proposal materials in a restaurant chain.

open8-videobrain-1
Open 8 Yukou Takamatsu

The topics of auto-video creation had come up frequently. For example, I have heard of a concept combining crowdsourcing and AI such as auto-creation / suggestion of subtitle, and that seems to be close to the platform

What matters here is the quality of created products. To be honest, the platform cannot do everything. As Open 8 CEO Yukou Takamatsu mentioned, this service has works in and out of its line. It is good at video creation in which atmosphere is valued such as image video advertisement but weak at video editing in which strict content is required such as business manuals. However, Takamatsu said that he aims to change the communication of enterprises by launching this solution:

Clients with huge budget can focus on planning and photographing so that they can create high-quality videos, of course. However, small retailers or intra-company communication are lacking in such power.

For example, a restaurant chain has been carrying out social contribution activities (corporate social responsibility; CSR) with its team consisting of a few members. They have many photo / video materials about underprivileged children, but it takes much time to edit them. It would cost hundreds of thousands of yen if ordering video editing production.

I thought that the speed of business and the quality of intra-company communication would be improved by making this process efficient. The information which was hard to be understood turns into something providing a strong impression. I would like to meet such requests from companies.

The firm has its R&D department in Singapore, and will conduct development of AI, speech recognition / transcription function and improvement of editing accuracy.

Translated by Taijiro Takeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy

Japan’s Metro Engines raises $6.3M, offers hotels with AI-powered pricing optimization

SHARE:

See the original story in Japanese. Tokyo-based Metro Engines, the Japanese startup offering Dynamic Pricing functions for hotels leveraging Deep Learning-powered demand forecast, announced today that it has raised 700 million yen (about $6.3 million US) from SBI Investment, NEC Capital Solution, Evolable Asia, JR East Start Up, Tap, Vector, Venture Labo Investment and Kiyohiro Sugashita. The latest funding follows the previous one raising estimated several million US dollars from Beenos back in December of 2016. Metro Engines will use the funds to increase the number of engineers and data scientists up to about 100, aiming to improve the accuracy of the dynamic pricing technology and accelerate business expansion using it. Metro Engines has developed a tool that allows hotel to set pricing leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning based on real-time Big Data. It collects Big Data regarding booking behaviors of hotel guests, and provides AI-powered analysis and optimized room pricing based on real-time data. By repeatedly verifying whether or not the suggested pricing is appropriate with Deep Learning, it can help hotels improve work efficiency and customer’s experience as well as reduce cost. The company claims dozens of notable hotel chains in Japan have decided to adopt it….

See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Metro Engines, the Japanese startup offering Dynamic Pricing functions for hotels leveraging Deep Learning-powered demand forecast, announced today that it has raised 700 million yen (about $6.3 million US) from SBI Investment, NEC Capital Solution, Evolable Asia, JR East Start Up, Tap, Vector, Venture Labo Investment and Kiyohiro Sugashita.

The latest funding follows the previous one raising estimated several million US dollars from Beenos back in December of 2016. Metro Engines will use the funds to increase the number of engineers and data scientists up to about 100, aiming to improve the accuracy of the dynamic pricing technology and accelerate business expansion using it.

Metro Engines has developed a tool that allows hotel to set pricing leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning based on real-time Big Data. It collects Big Data regarding booking behaviors of hotel guests, and provides AI-powered analysis and optimized room pricing based on real-time data. By repeatedly verifying whether or not the suggested pricing is appropriate with Deep Learning, it can help hotels improve work efficiency and customer’s experience as well as reduce cost. The company claims dozens of notable hotel chains in Japan have decided to adopt it.

Metro Engines won the top award at Demo Day of IBM BlueHub’s Open Innovation Program Inbound Travel back in May of 2017. Their competitors include Sora, the Japanese startup behind AI-powered pricing strategy support platforms for hotels called Hotel Hanzuke and MagicPrice.

via PR Times

Translated by Masaru Ikeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy

Meet six teams from Mitsubishi UFJ’s 3rd acceleration batch in Tokyo

SHARE:

See the original story in Japanese. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), a bank holding company with its core commercial banking subsidiary The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, last month held the Demo Day for MUFG Digital Accelerator 3rd batch in Tokyo. Six teams that passed the selection had participated in the program and been working on improvements in order to brush up for their services, upon receiving support from mentors over a four-month period starting April of 2018 based on the co-working space The Garage in Nihonbashi-Kabutocho, Tokyo. In the Demo Day, the teams’ four-month results were showcased to MUFG Group staffers, Venture Capital and media for the first time, to be examined based on four evaluation items: degree of innovation, user benefit, business potential and synergy with MUFG. The highly evaluated teams were given support grants and supplemental awards. The judges for the Demo Day were as follows: Hironori Kamezawa (Chief Digital Transformation Officer, MUFG) Souichi Kariyazono (Managing Partner, Globis Capital Partners) Muneki Handa (CEO, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital) Yoshiaki Murakami (Executive Research Director, Mitsubishi Research Institute) In addition, all six teams were given PR Times award (free use right of the press release distribution service PR Times for one years)…

See the original story in Japanese.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), a bank holding company with its core commercial banking subsidiary The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, last month held the Demo Day for MUFG Digital Accelerator 3rd batch in Tokyo.

Six teams that passed the selection had participated in the program and been working on improvements in order to brush up for their services, upon receiving support from mentors over a four-month period starting April of 2018 based on the co-working space The Garage in Nihonbashi-Kabutocho, Tokyo.

In the Demo Day, the teams’ four-month results were showcased to MUFG Group staffers, Venture Capital and media for the first time, to be examined based on four evaluation items: degree of innovation, user benefit, business potential and synergy with MUFG. The highly evaluated teams were given support grants and supplemental awards.

The judges for the Demo Day were as follows:

  • Hironori Kamezawa (Chief Digital Transformation Officer, MUFG)
  • Souichi Kariyazono (Managing Partner, Globis Capital Partners)
  • Muneki Handa (CEO, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital)
  • Yoshiaki Murakami (Executive Research Director, Mitsubishi Research Institute)

In addition, all six teams were given PR Times award (free use right of the press release distribution service PR Times for one years) as a supplemental prize.

See also:

Top-award winner / AWS Award winner: Lendy by Credit Engine

  • Mentor: Yasuhiro Yoshizawa (Inclusion Japan), Kotaro Sasamoto (Dentsu Ventures)
  • Grand Prix supplemental prize: Business support grant 2 million yen
  • AWS Award supplemental prize: Amazon Echo

Credit Engine provides a small-lot loan service Lendy as short-term emergency funds or operation funds targeting SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) / sole proprietors. Through cooperation with external web services and utilization of machine learning, its own risk evaluation system and quick application receiving / credit screening became available, so that the firm focuses on needs for funding which cannot be covered by conventional banks and financial organizations.

Credit Engine also developed a platform allowing external financial organizations to provide online lending service. This platform is specialized for online lending and enables bank users to reduce a burden of operation work in various introduction patterns according to their existing financing works flexibly.

Credit Engine revealed that it conducts PoC (proof of concept) at the MUFG-affiliated money lending company Acom and is expected to acquire new customers. Credit Engines will cooperate with MUFG Bank, and it is the first client of the platform.

See also:

Runner-up: MDR

  • Mentor: Kengo Ito (D4V), Akira Kurabayashi (Draper Nexus)
  • Supplemental prize: business support grant 500,000 yen

Quantum computers to perform high level computation is classified roughly into special-purpose machine and general-purpose machine. MDR exhibits a Python-based SDK (software development kit) supporting special-purpose machine free of charge, allowing anyone to experience quantum computing easily.  Through the participation in this acceleration program, the MDR team commented that it became possible to assess the influence on operations of banks / investment banks / investment trusts and to determine the area in present operations that quantum computing can or cannot be introduced.

In addition, MDR developed an OS for special-purpose quantum computer that allows easy development of quantum computing app without specialized knowledge. To deal with problems that cannot be solved by special-purpose quantum computer, MDR concluded an agreement with MUFG Bank on joint development of general-purpose computer. The firm plans to develop OS for general-purpose computer and aims to establish an environment where special-purpose / general-purpose quantum computing can be easily introduced into every operation of the financial industry.

Runner-up: Remitis by Restar

  • Mentor: Shinji Asada (Salesforce Ventures) and Jun Nakajima (Archetype)
  • Supplemental prize: business support grant 500,000 yen

The real estate startup Restar develops information search / analysis platform Remetis targeting enterprises dealing with real estate investment. The market size of real estate fund is huge in Japan and the total amount of managed asset is estimated to be 33 trillion yen (about $290 billion), but the firm pointed out that the available information to manage real estate efficiently is insufficient. For example, to acquire essential information to manage a certain real estate properly such as surrounding conditions of room availabilities or market prices of rent, gathering online data from more than 100 websites and even from paper-based data is a must.

With Remetis, users can acquire such information in one-stop and upload rent income / expense data automatically. It also acquires development situation data of competitors and creates summary chart or report automatically. In cooperation with MUFG Bank, Restar verified whether Remetis can automate asset evaluation / rating works for the bank’s loan customers.

Audience Award / Microsoft Azure Award / DEJIMA Award winner: Orphe Track by No New Folk Studio

  • Mentor: Joh Konno (Globis Capital Partners), Kotaro Sasamoto (Dentsu Ventures)
  • Microsoft Azure supplemental prize: use right of Microsoft Visual Studio Enterprise for one year
  • DEJIMA Award supplemental prizes: member user right of DEJIMA, event-holding right, novelty T-shirts

No New Folk Studio develops the smart shoes Orphe mounted with LED light and motion sensor. It was an epochal decision that the firm known for an IoT (Internet of Things) startup or a hardware startup aims to collaborate with the financial organization.

The firm develops the smart shoes Orphe Track that a small-sized device can be inserted into its insole, enabling foot data collection linking with a mobile app. Focusing on the fact that not a few runners injure their knees while running, the firm realized an unique analysis method of runners’ landing by using its own algorithm based on running data acquired from the shoes, without requiring any expensive sensors unlike conventional methods.

CEO Kikukawa was inspired by the data published from the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport that a step a day reduces medical cost by 0.065 – 0.072 yen (about 0.06 cent). He applied for this accelerator program aiming to construct an ecosystem where users can have benefits through personal foot data collection. The firm also developed a platform in which coins are accumulated by running, tying up with the blockchain startup Zerobillbank and others.

See also:

AndGo

  • Mentor: Noriaki Sakamoto (The University of Tokyo Edge Capital), Yasuhiro Yoshizawa (Inclusion Japan)

AndGo takes on research and development of technologies related to encryption, blockchain and hardware wallet and has been developing a cold wallet in which cryptocurrency can be saved.

Generally, the security of user-owned cryptocurrency can be maintained by saving it in cold wallet without depositing it in an exchange, but there are still some issues in utility such as users having to memorize a lot of secret words.

AndGo realizes restoring core for both utility and safe use, cryptocurrency transfer method with QR code and multi-component authentication by a combination of smartphone and cold wallet. The firm plans to start sales of the cold wallet earlier next year. After the pitch, the firm discussed technical issues with the staffers of Kabu.com and Paygent affiliated by MUFG.

Signal by Factbase

  • Mentor: Kenichiro Hara (DCM Ventures)

Factbase develops the information portal focusing on cryptocurrency named Signal with two key functions; Signal Board is a market forecast function with web-based dashboard and Signal Alert notifies users by LINE when an event that may have a significant impact on the cryptocurrency market occurs.

In contrast to the stock and exchange market based on legal tender, the cryptocurrency market is much influenced by information disseminated online. By understanding contexts and by arranging miscellaneous information using Big Data and AI (artificial intelligence), Signal realizes a system to provide information correctly to users.

The firm plans to distribute its first premium content that exhibits BTC FX (Bitcoin foreign exchange) trading techniques with actual examples, and users can subscribe to it for 10,000 yen since July 30th.

See also:

Translated by Taijiro Takeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy

Japan’s Spectee, news video aggregator for press, ready for North America expansion

SHARE:

This is a guest post authored by “Tex” Pomeroy. He is a Tokyo-based writer specializing in ICT and high technology. Spectee, at an OrangeFab meetup in Tokyo outlining the program in Asia, noted that from September it will start expanding its presence abroad — most likely in the U.S. which has been the amateur-based newsfeed firm’s largest market. Founder & CEO Kenjiro Murakami worked at a Silicon Valley major prior to starting up Spectee, under a different name. The Tokyo firm is a second batch (the first which covered Japan, Korea and Taiwan) graduate of the accelerator run by the European telecom concern Orange. Spectee will showcase its service at an Austin, Texas confab next month to mark the launch of its active foray into North America. Many competing services are headquartered on this continent. The Japanese startup not only handles copyright management issues for the image data but applies Artificial Intelligence (AI) upon finding and matching the requisite data. It was underscored that by 2020 the Internet will be some 44 ZB (zettabytes) of information floating out on cyberspace, beyond the capacity of a normal human brain alone to thresh through. See also: Japan’s social news aggregator for press…

This is a guest post authored by “Tex” Pomeroy. He is a Tokyo-based writer specializing in ICT and high technology.


Spectee CEO Kenjiro Murakami introduces his service at a recent OrangeFab Asia meet-up.
Image credit: “Tex” Pomeroy

Spectee, at an OrangeFab meetup in Tokyo outlining the program in Asia, noted that from September it will start expanding its presence abroad — most likely in the U.S. which has been the amateur-based newsfeed firm’s largest market. Founder & CEO Kenjiro Murakami worked at a Silicon Valley major prior to starting up Spectee, under a different name.

The Tokyo firm is a second batch (the first which covered Japan, Korea and Taiwan) graduate of the accelerator run by the European telecom concern Orange. Spectee will showcase its service at an Austin, Texas confab next month to mark the launch of its active foray into North America. Many competing services are headquartered on this continent.

The Japanese startup not only handles copyright management issues for the image data but applies Artificial Intelligence (AI) upon finding and matching the requisite data. It was underscored that by 2020 the Internet will be some 44 ZB (zettabytes) of information floating out on cyberspace, beyond the capacity of a normal human brain alone to thresh through.

See also:

Spectee is currently working with Associated Press (AP) among other press organizations to disseminate its visual newsfeed network. Its system is also armed with multiple patents, which is rare for a startup with less than ten years of history, to be applied in expanding into new areas beyond the news field.

In addition to the Spectee talk, OrangeFab outlined its past efforts and announced it was ready to accept applications for the next program term from entrepreneurs. Creww also provided a spiel about the venue it runs (dubbed “docks”), which is a mid-Tokyo open innovation incubation and coworking space near Tokyo Tower, being used for the event series.

Earlier last month, Uzabase — offering the NewsPicks service and tied up with Dow Jones in the U.S. — announced its intention to buy digital-only business news service Quartz from Atlantic Media. Assuming the approximately month-long U.S. government approval goes smoothly, the Tokyo company can expect to be the new Quartz provider.

Japan’s Abeja, Google Analytics for retail stores, secures $38M series C round

SHARE:

See the original story in Japanese. Tokyo-based Abeja, the company offering solutions for retail stores to improve customer path or traffic based on image analysis and machine learning technologies, announced today that it has raised 4.25 billion yen (about $38.4 million) in a series C round. Participating investors are SBI Investment, Daikin Industries, TBS Innovation Partners, Topcon, Japan Post Capital and Musashi Seimitsu Industry, in addition to existing investors including PNB-Inspire Ethical Fund, Nvidia and Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ). The company uses the funds to set up AI (artificial intelligence) management locations in ASEAN countries and the US for their flagship cloud Abeja Platform, enhance their vertical-focused SaaS (Software as a Service) platform Abeja Insight, strengthen R&D efforts and improve intellectual property management, plus hire talented staffers in the deep learning space. Founded in September of 2012, followed by graduation from the 1st batch of the Orange Fab Asia acceleration program, Abeja has raised an undisclosed sum in an angel and a seed round. Subsequently, the company has raised six figures in US dollars from Salesforce in a series A round back in 2014, followed by securing 700 million yen (about $7 million at the exchange rate then)…

Abeja CEO/CTO Yosuke Okada explains about Abeja Platform Partner Ecosystem
(Photographed at Docomo Innovation Village in November of 2016)
Image credit: Masaru Ikeda

See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Abeja, the company offering solutions for retail stores to improve customer path or traffic based on image analysis and machine learning technologies, announced today that it has raised 4.25 billion yen (about $38.4 million) in a series C round. Participating investors are SBI Investment, Daikin Industries, TBS Innovation Partners, Topcon, Japan Post Capital and Musashi Seimitsu Industry, in addition to existing investors including PNB-Inspire Ethical Fund, Nvidia and Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ).

The company uses the funds to set up AI (artificial intelligence) management locations in ASEAN countries and the US for their flagship cloud Abeja Platform, enhance their vertical-focused SaaS (Software as a Service) platform Abeja Insight, strengthen R&D efforts and improve intellectual property management, plus hire talented staffers in the deep learning space.

Founded in September of 2012, followed by graduation from the 1st batch of the Orange Fab Asia acceleration program, Abeja has raised an undisclosed sum in an angel and a seed round. Subsequently, the company has raised six figures in US dollars from Salesforce in a series A round back in 2014, followed by securing 700 million yen (about $7 million at the exchange rate then) in a series B round from INCJ, Archetype, Inspire-PNB Partners. The funding at this time is seen making the amount raised to date total at 5 billion yen (about $45 million).

See also:

Translated by Masaru Ikeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy

Japan’s Recruit holds Tech Lab Paak Demo Day, teams from final batch present results

SHARE:

See the original story in Japanese. Japan’s Recruit Holdings (TSE:6098) earlier this month held a Demo Day for the 12th batch of Tech Lab Paak, the startup accelerator based in Shibuya, Tokyo. 11 teams gave 3-minute pitches presenting their six-months’ results since joining the program. In addition, 6 teams made 1-minute pitches (1 team was absence) and thereby it became a big pitch event totaling 17 teams. Below, we introduce what kind of services were or are going to be born out from Tech Lab Paak, with a focus on prizewinners. The following were judges for the pitch competition. Yohei Sawayama (Managing Partner, 500 Startups Japan) Madoka Sawa (Director, Microsoft Technology Lab., Microsoft Japan) Ken Nishimura (Journalist / ex. Editor-in-Chief, TechCrunch Japan) Goushi Yamaguchi (COO, ProtoStar) Hiroshi Hata (Principal Manager of Startup Business Development Department , Amazon Web Service) Ayumi Iwamoto (Chief, Tech Lab Paak) Tech Lab Paak has been managed for three and a half years since its launch in December of 2014, but it is going to be closed at the end of June. The accelerator program is also scheduled to be terminated with this 12th batch. Yoichi Aso, the first head of the venue and the program,…

See the original story in Japanese.

Japan’s Recruit Holdings (TSE:6098) earlier this month held a Demo Day for the 12th batch of Tech Lab Paak, the startup accelerator based in Shibuya, Tokyo.

11 teams gave 3-minute pitches presenting their six-months’ results since joining the program. In addition, 6 teams made 1-minute pitches (1 team was absence) and thereby it became a big pitch event totaling 17 teams.

Below, we introduce what kind of services were or are going to be born out from Tech Lab Paak, with a focus on prizewinners. The following were judges for the pitch competition.

  • Yohei Sawayama (Managing Partner, 500 Startups Japan)
  • Madoka Sawa (Director, Microsoft Technology Lab., Microsoft Japan)
  • Ken Nishimura (Journalist / ex. Editor-in-Chief, TechCrunch Japan)
  • Goushi Yamaguchi (COO, ProtoStar)
  • Hiroshi Hata (Principal Manager of Startup Business Development Department , Amazon Web Service)
  • Ayumi Iwamoto (Chief, Tech Lab Paak)

Tech Lab Paak has been managed for three and a half years since its launch in December of 2014, but it is going to be closed at the end of June. The accelerator program is also scheduled to be terminated with this 12th batch. Yoichi Aso, the first head of the venue and the program, had left Recruit this April and started two business of Alpha Drive and Genome Clinic.

Tech Lab Paak Award winner: Residential facility in space by Outsense

Supplemental prize: AppleStore gift cards worth 30,000 yen

Outsense is developing technologies for constructing residential facility in space utilizing three-dimensional developable structure like Origami (Japanese folding papercraft). As the space development moves ahead globally and manned activities on the moon are expected to begin in around 2030, the team tackles designing of residential facility, mockup creation or business development.

Unlike the conventional residential facilities on the moon, Outsense devised a concept of a roofed house design and is applying for a patent on that technology. The team has been improving functions of the facility not only for the maintenance of life but also for a space to live a comfortable life.

Microsoft Award winner: Kazamidori

Supplemental prize: king crab 1.5kg

Kazamidori offers solutions for general problems related to infant education. To provide an environment where anyone can receive a proper educational opportunity regardless of birth or background, the team takes on research and development of a data-driven and socially implementable infant education method. The team approaches to infant education from three angles: giving advice about caring of children domestically, improving work efficiency at nursery schools or kindergartens and reforming social systems through lobbying of governmental authorities. The research part is planned to be conducted as a non-profit organization (NPO) set apart from its main body of business.

Kazamidori is going to launch an infant educational media soon. In the end, the team plans to manage its own nursery school bringing together the knowledge acquired from all business sectors but thinks it is not easy to achieve the exit in its all business sectors at once due to the size of the business theme ranging over various area, so that it is considering a way to pay return to investors as exiting each business one by one.

500 Startups Japan Award: TOLETTA by Hachitama

Supplemental prize: Matsusaka beef and Kobe beef set

Hachitama develops Toletta, the IoT (Internet of Things) toilet for cat capable of checking up urologic diseases. It cleans cat excrement automatically, identifies each cat by image recognition and records usage information including weight, urine quantity or urination / defecation frequency. When any abnormal findings are detected, the information will be sent to their owners’ app. The team monetizes its service based on three factors: device / smartphone app, periodic purchase of recognized organic cat food and online consultation.

The most common cause of cats’ death is kidney failure and Hachitama aims to prolong cats’ lifespan by enabling the owners to realize their cats’ initial symptoms such as polyuria or weight loss. Coincidentally, Sharp had also recently unveiled a similar smart cat toilet product, but Hachitama aims to maintain priority by establishing diversified business strategy leveraging cooperation with pet food / insurance companies and database about cats / owners.

Hachitama was founded in 2015 (the company name was Pet Board Healthcare then). It succeeded in a crowdfunding campaign at Green Funding and was subsequently chosen for Morinaga Accelerator 2016 which is managed / supported by 01booster and Tokyo Accelerator which is managed by Dai-ichi Kangyo Credit Cooperative. After that, the team raised a total of 40 million yen (about $380,000) from Morinaga, Kanshin Mirai Fund (managed by Dai-ichi Kangyo Credit Cooperative), Actcall and 01booster, in addition to obtaining the subordinated loan from Japan Finance Corporation. The team won the Monozukuri Hardware Cup competition in March and was recently invited to the Global Hardware Cup 2018 competition in Pittsburgh as a finalist.

ProtoStar Award / Audience Award winner: Kimakuri by BloomScheme

Supplemental prizes: pair of meal tickets of Cuisine[s] Michel Troisgros / Champagne Taittinger 6,000 ml

BloomSheme develops a virtual try-on service named Kimakuri. It solves fashion users’ worries that they do not know whether clothes suit their faces or body types just by seeing magazine photos and it is bothersome to go shop to try them on but takes time to order the clothes from e-commerce websites.

On Kimakuri, users upload their face photos and input body type data in advance. The face photos are translated into 3D model and it shows a try-on image in the well-fitted style to the body type with each user’s face when a user chooses any clothes. The team plans to support single item changing in an outfit and 360-degree imaging in the future.

Users can share try-on images on social network services and can access e-commerce sites directly from Kimakuri allowing them to purchase the items. The team allows end-users to use the service for free and is considering monetization by charging fashion operators for account use, coordinate listing fee or website guidance fee. The team also considers adding a coordinate suggestion by a professional stylist as a premium function in the future. The team is applying for a patent for the system and plans to launch the closed beta at the end of June.

Nishimura Award winner: Ostrich antibody food science by VitaLonga

Supplemental prize: three meal tickets at boat-style restaurant (Yakatabune)

VitaLonga is a nutraceuticals (nutrition+pharmaceuticals) startup focusing on technology to use antibodies acquired from ostriches into food. The ostrich antibodies are much cheaper, resident to heat and stable to acid / alkali than general antibodies, so that they can be easily to added to food. By introducing ostrich antibodies against pollen allergen or influenza virus into food, various disease preventing effects can be expected.

Since antibodies delivered via invasive methods are considered as drugs, clinical trials are required to be given marketing approval. On the other hand, since food comprising antibodies are treated as additives which act only from taking by mouth until discharging from the body, the market introduction may be easier. The antibodies are separated from ostrich egg york and has low possibility of causing side effects. The team begins with the food additives and has been considering the application to health functional food or pharmaceuticals in the future.

AWS Award winner: AI for security camera analysis by VAAK

Supplemental prize: Amazon gift cards worth 30,000 yen

VAAK develops crime prevention solution analyzing security camera images by AI (artificial intelligence). The total damage due to shoplifting is estimated to be 13 trillion yen (about $120 billion) in the world and 500 billion yen (about $4.5 billion) in Japan annually at least, and it is hard to fully stop just by introducing watchdog persons or prevention gates. The team utilizes existing security cameras or video recorders to provide cheap and efficient crime prevention measures.

This system analyzes shop visitors’ behavior scenario based on past crime data and shop visiting patterns such as their severe facial expression or furtive manner and notifies shop managers that shoplifting is likely to happen 60 seconds before that  happens. The system is applicable to suspicious person countermeasure or accident prevention, as well as to automatic settlement service without the cashier using the same technology. VAAK announced it had raised 50 million yen (about $450,000) from an undisclosed venture capital this April.

Translated by Taijiro Takeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy

Robotics process automation startup Cinnamon secures $8.3M in series B round

SHARE:

See the original story in Japanese. Japanese startup Cinnamon, developing a document reading engine for “white collar” businesses, announced today that it has secured 800 million yen (about $7.4 million) in a series B round funding and 100 million yen (about $926,000) in loans. The latest round is led by SBI Investment with participation from FFG Venture Business Partners, Itochu Techno-Solutions, Sony Innovation Fund and TIS. Loans were secured from Mizuho Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Bank this time. The latest round follows the previous funding from multiple institutional and individual investors back in January this year (the announcement was made in February). The sum of funding in the previous round has not been disclosed but Cinnamon revealed that it was part of a series A round in an interview with The Bridge. When Cinnamon changed its business model from developing photo-sharing apps to an AI (artificial intelligence) solution provider, their incorporated entity was also changed over from a Singaporean company into a Japanese one. Combined with the sum raised by the previous entity, this round saw Cinnamon having raised a total of over 1 billion yen (about $9.2 million) to date. The company will use the funds to strengthen hiring…

Cinnamon’s AI Lab members in Vietnam with CTO Hajime Hotta in the center of the front row.
Image credit: Cinnamon

See the original story in Japanese.

Japanese startup Cinnamon, developing a document reading engine for “white collar” businesses, announced today that it has secured 800 million yen (about $7.4 million) in a series B round funding and 100 million yen (about $926,000) in loans. The latest round is led by SBI Investment with participation from FFG Venture Business Partners, Itochu Techno-Solutions, Sony Innovation Fund and TIS. Loans were secured from Mizuho Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Bank this time.

The latest round follows the previous funding from multiple institutional and individual investors back in January this year (the announcement was made in February). The sum of funding in the previous round has not been disclosed but Cinnamon revealed that it was part of a series A round in an interview with The Bridge. When Cinnamon changed its business model from developing photo-sharing apps to an AI (artificial intelligence) solution provider, their incorporated entity was also changed over from a Singaporean company into a Japanese one. Combined with the sum raised by the previous entity, this round saw Cinnamon having raised a total of over 1 billion yen (about $9.2 million) to date.

The company will use the funds to strengthen hiring and fostering AI engineers, expanding sales channels, solidifying team structure and develop new products. The company is managing, developing business and sell products based on five offices in Asia – Tokyo, Hanoi (Vietnam), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Taipei (Taiwan) and Singapore. Among all of them, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Taipei locations have “AI Lab” functions to foster engineers and develop technologies with an aim to employ 500 AI engineers by 2022.

A briefing and lecture given to AI engineers and potential employees
Image credit: Cinnamon

The company’s main focus is the RPA (robotics process automation) class 2 solution Flax Scanner, which uses the document reading engine “Cinnamon AI” also developed by the company. Instead of simple OCR (optical character recognition), the Convolutional Neural Network (CNN), which is one type of deep learning, finally achieves accurate document reading with a precision rate of 99% or more. The biggest feature is not only the document reading, but also a system that can understand the context of the document and capture information in a semantic manner that databases and other systems can easily handle.

Specific use cases include contracts, resumes, sales progress reports, medical charts, handwritten application forms, real estate property information, receipts, etc. In particular, it is expected to be utilized in the fields of finance and insurance where paper documents are abundant, and it set the general goals of quadrupling business speed and cutting costs to a quarter.

Among the investors participating this round, FFG Venture Partners (the investment arm of Fukuoka Bank) looks at synergy in streamlining document processing at banking operations while system integrators like Itochu Techno-Solutions and TIS are expected to provide the company with partner sales channels leveraging their vast network with potential corporate users.

Cinnamon is also developing Rossa Voice, a voice dictation solution based on an automated word correction technology used for Flax Scanner. Rossa Voice allows users to transcript records at call centers and correctly dictate proper nouns or technical terms in discussions between representatives and customers.

Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy

AI medical startup Ubie gets estimated $2.7M from Osaka power company’s VC arm

SHARE:

See the original story in Japanese. Japan’s Ubie, providing AI (Artificial Intelligence)-driven medical services such as AI Monshin Ubie and Dr. Ubie, announced this month that it had raised funds from Kanden Venture Management (KVM) which is a corporate venture capital of The Kansai Electric Power Company headquartered in Osaka. The amount raised and the investment round have not been disclosed but are estimated to be about 300 million yen (about $2.7 million) in its series A round judging from the disclosed information and the previous round, the 60 million yen (about $550,000)-fundraising from D4V in its seed round conducted last September. The Japan version of KISS…Keep-It-Simple-Security method in vogue among overseas startups today… is said to have been utilized. Ubie was founded in May of 2015 by Dr. Yoshinori Abe, a medical practitioner who formerly worked at The University of Tokyo Hospital,  and engineer Kouta Kubo formerly serving at the Japanese medical information service major M3. So far, Ubie has launched two products: AI Monshin Ubie and Dr. Ubie. AI Monshin Ubie is the AI-driven medical inquiry SaaS (Software as a Service) targeting users at medical institutions, in order to support document creation of clinical records under supervision from…

Yoshinori Abe (center right), Kouta Kubo (center left) and the team member of Ubie.
Image credit: Ubie

See the original story in Japanese.

Japan’s Ubie, providing AI (Artificial Intelligence)-driven medical services such as AI Monshin Ubie and Dr. Ubie, announced this month that it had raised funds from Kanden Venture Management (KVM) which is a corporate venture capital of The Kansai Electric Power Company headquartered in Osaka. The amount raised and the investment round have not been disclosed but are estimated to be about 300 million yen (about $2.7 million) in its series A round judging from the disclosed information and the previous round, the 60 million yen (about $550,000)-fundraising from D4V in its seed round conducted last September. The Japan version of KISS…Keep-It-Simple-Security method in vogue among overseas startups today… is said to have been utilized.

Ubie was founded in May of 2015 by Dr. Yoshinori Abe, a medical practitioner who formerly worked at The University of Tokyo Hospital,  and engineer Kouta Kubo formerly serving at the Japanese medical information service major M3. So far, Ubie has launched two products: AI Monshin Ubie and Dr. Ubie.

AI Monshin Ubie and Dr. Ubie

AI Monshin Ubie is the AI-driven medical inquiry SaaS (Software as a Service) targeting users at medical institutions, in order to support document creation of clinical records under supervision from specialists. The firm launched the beta version  last year and has been providing the product version to 50 institutions as of last December. Using natural language processing and question-setting algorithm, it automatically creates clinical document templates using AI-driven inquiry according to each patient’s answer type. It will contribute to time reduction in doctors’ desk work and patients’ wait time. From this month, it starts up operation at Hitachi General Hospital, and also planned for joint multi-center research with Miyazaki University commencing this summer.

Dr. Ubie is a disease prediction app for general users. This app was developed based on AI technology to detect future risk for diseases. It leverages Abe’s experience in latest medical treatment technology as well as knowledge of medical care for the elderly; it also adopted the disease name prediction algorithm based on probability / statistical model and machine learning technology.

Ubie was born out of the life science accelerator program Zentech Dojo Nihonbashi 4th batch, managed by the hardcore startup accelerator Indee Japan. With this fundraising, Ubie announced that it will enhance the function of AI Monshin Ubie for business expansion while carrying out overseas market development for Dr. Ubie.

Translated by Taijiro Takeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy

Dr. Fellow wins OnLab Demo Day in Tokyo with clinical case sharing tool for doctors

SHARE:

See the original story in Japanese. Tokyo-based startup incubator Open Network Lab last week held Demo Day for its Seed Accelerator Program 16th batch. From among 84 teams including 17 applicants from overseas, six teams were chosen to receive mentoring and support during a three-month period. Five of the six teams excepting one disclosed team gave pitches within the event, then awarded by votes of major mentors and the audience. The judges for the pitch session were as follows: Kaoru Hayashi (CEO / Group CEO, Digital Garage) Shonosuke Hata (CEO, Kakaku.com) Atsuhiro Murakami (Director, Kakaku.com) Rei Inamoto (Co-founder / Creative Director, Inamoto & Co.) Best Team Award winner: Dr. Fellow by Fellow Dr. Fellow is a clinical case-sharing platform for medical doctors. It is common to share clinical cases by case presentation through academic journals or academic conferences but these conventional methods are inefficient for busy doctors. By creating a non-anonymous doctor community, Dr. Fellow enables clinical case-sharing among doctors in the open for a wider range of medical fields. For example, although 200,000 stroke events are estimated to occur annually, only 2,000 cases (1% of the total cases) have been reported in the form of academic articles. In the…

See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based startup incubator Open Network Lab last week held Demo Day for its Seed Accelerator Program 16th batch. From among 84 teams including 17 applicants from overseas, six teams were chosen to receive mentoring and support during a three-month period.

Five of the six teams excepting one disclosed team gave pitches within the event, then awarded by votes of major mentors and the audience.

The judges for the pitch session were as follows:

  • Kaoru Hayashi (CEO / Group CEO, Digital Garage)
  • Shonosuke Hata (CEO, Kakaku.com)
  • Atsuhiro Murakami (Director, Kakaku.com)
  • Rei Inamoto (Co-founder / Creative Director, Inamoto & Co.)

Best Team Award winner: Dr. Fellow by Fellow

Dr. Fellow is a clinical case-sharing platform for medical doctors. It is common to share clinical cases by case presentation through academic journals or academic conferences but these conventional methods are inefficient for busy doctors. By creating a non-anonymous doctor community, Dr. Fellow enables clinical case-sharing among doctors in the open for a wider range of medical fields.

For example, although 200,000 stroke events are estimated to occur annually, only 2,000 cases (1% of the total cases) have been reported in the form of academic articles. In the conventional online doctor communities, information sharing based on Q&A style between doctors is available, but the strength of Dr. Fellow is that direct clinical case-sharing using images or text information of clinical cases.

The team aims to monetize through fixed-amount charging by issuing their official accounts targeting companies / academic societies and rate charging by in-feed ads targeting doctors.

Audience Award winner: ReShape by Navier

Navier, the team consisting of three engineers, develops AI (artificial intelligence)-driven image-editing service named ReShape. To edit digital images including shake correction, exposure correction or trimming, image-editing tools are commonly used but requires specialized skill or labor and cost.

ReShape enables easy use of advanced image-editing techniques by applying Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) technology. Not correcting target image but creating new one by GAN, ReShape can provide higher quality images rather than ones corrected by professionals. The team expects to charge 20 yen (about 20 cents) per edited image for individual users and a monthly flat-rate fee for amateur photographers or photo productions.

Brushing up the service as providing it through web or app during the early stage, the team will provide the service for business operators through cloud API (Application Programming Interface) in the future. Also it plans a quality improvement service of videos using GAN.

Hale by LINK

Hale, developed by LINK, is a nursing-care concierge service to realize wishes. Some persons in care have much wealth but cannot enjoy their hobbies such as going on a trip to an island, dining at a three-star restaurant or going to a favorite singer’s concert which require constant nursing care.

At Hale, its staffers conduct arrangement of welfare vehicles or preparatory investigation of facilities to visit, while interviewing users’ requests and confirming physical / disease conditions. Partnering restaurants, hotels or travel agencies, the team provides the service in two charging systems: a fixed rate system with the service of nurse under an exclusive contract with Hale and an optional charging system for each matter.

Pickupon by Pickupon

Generally, 64% of functions implemented in software have not been used on the average, although a great amount of labor was spent for the development. The Pickupon team thought the cause of this gap was that engineers did not collect users’ comments or impression directly so that they could not analyze user demands quantitatively, and the team developed a SaaS (Software as a Service) for transcribing / analyzing / recording users’ utterances.

Pickupon records primary information as is and enables sharing  among several people to realize correct information, preventing missed information. By analyzing multiple utterances integrally, it enables acquisition of tendencies and consideration of measures too. The team provides the service in a freemium system allowing users to hold data up to six hours for free.

ShareTable by ShareTable

ShareTable is sitter / nursery teacher matching service targeting households in which both partners working that have  elementary school children. An investigation by the team conducted through interviews of 70 households showed that most of them use private childcare support services, private schools or Family Support Centers, the childcare support service run by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare during work-hours. However, these services have drawbacks such as limited locations or requiring labor to pick up and drop children off.

To solve these problems, ShareTable offers an afterschool class to study home economics centered on food. The team offers  situational learning at teachers’ home close to users’ home on weekdays and somewhere outside on holidays or during long vacations. ShareTable matches households needing childcare and individuals / companies providing classes and charges 20% as commission fees.


According to Masahiko Sarukawa, Director of DG Incubation organizing Open Network Lab, the accelerator has produced 91 startups in total with the completion of this 15th batch. The rate of successful fundraising by startups being produced through 15 batches reached 57.5%.

Coinciding with the holding of this 16th Demo Day, Open Network Lab has started accepting applications to the 17th batch. It will provide 10 million yen (about $92,000) maximum as activity funding for this batch over three months. Also it plans to provide the right to use three bases (in Daikanyama of Tokyo and Kamakura, plus San Francisco) gratis for a year, and mentoring by managers of startups that came out of the past Seed Accelerator Program. The application deadline for the 17th batch is noon on May 21th (Japan Standard Time).

Translated by Taijiro Takeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy

Medication SaaS for pharmacists Musubi wins B Dash Camp’s pitch arena in Fukuoka

SHARE:

This is part of our coverage of B Dash Camp 2018 Spring in Fukuoka. 18 companies passed the initial screening for the Pitch Arena competition of B Dash Camp 2018 Spring in Fukuoka, a semi-annual startup conference taking place in the western city of Japan, and of those, six companies were chosen as finalists. Kakehashi, the Japanese startup behind a cloud-based medication profiling system for pharmacists called Musubi, walked away with the grand prize. The judges for the final round were as follows: Yusuke Asakura (Signifiant) Yoshinori Fukushima (Gunosy) Shinji Kimura (DAS Capital) Hironao Kunimitsu (Gumi) Genki Shiota (Akatsuki) This article will give a rundown of each company and their pitches. Grand Prize, Caster Biz Special Award winner: Musubi by Kakehashi Musubi, provided by Kakehashi, is a cloud-based medication profiling system for pharmacies and pharmacists. There are 60,000 pharmacies in Japan, outnumbering even convenience stores. Filling out the medication history for each patient is one heavy task of pharmacies. On average, it is said that it takes two hours to fill in the medication history for 40 patients, but by introducing Musubi, this can be compressed down to 15 minutes (⅛). A patient comes to the pharmacy and medication is…

This is part of our coverage of B Dash Camp 2018 Spring in Fukuoka.

18 companies passed the initial screening for the Pitch Arena competition of B Dash Camp 2018 Spring in Fukuoka, a semi-annual startup conference taking place in the western city of Japan, and of those, six companies were chosen as finalists. Kakehashi, the Japanese startup behind a cloud-based medication profiling system for pharmacists called Musubi, walked away with the grand prize.

The judges for the final round were as follows:

  • Yusuke Asakura (Signifiant)
  • Yoshinori Fukushima (Gunosy)
  • Shinji Kimura (DAS Capital)
  • Hironao Kunimitsu (Gumi)
  • Genki Shiota (Akatsuki)

This article will give a rundown of each company and their pitches.

Grand Prize, Caster Biz Special Award winner: Musubi by Kakehashi

Musubi, provided by Kakehashi, is a cloud-based medication profiling system for pharmacies and pharmacists. There are 60,000 pharmacies in Japan, outnumbering even convenience stores. Filling out the medication history for each patient is one heavy task of pharmacies. On average, it is said that it takes two hours to fill in the medication history for 40 patients, but by introducing Musubi, this can be compressed down to 15 minutes (⅛).

A patient comes to the pharmacy and medication is dispensed based on the prescription. After this, the pharmacist instructs the patient about the medication, but with Musubi this medical instruction takes place on a tablet, and according to the buttons pushed by the pharmacist a medication history is recorded. In four months from the start of the service, the company received inquiries from 7,000 stores, accounting for 11% of the 60,000 pharmacies nationwide. In the future, after the ban on offering medication instruction remotely is lifted, the company is also considering offering a drug delivery service.

Special Award winner: Sumaho Hoken by JustInCase

JustInCase is an InsurTech startup founded in 2016 by Kazy Hata (current CEO), who has worked in the actuarial field at Milliman, a leading actuarial consulting firm, along with his team. The company is currently preparing Sumaho Hoken (literally meaning Smartphone Insurance), an insurance service to cover repair costs in the event of a malfunction for smartphone users.  It uses AI (artificial intelligence) algorithms to analyze user behavior patterns, and conducts a risk assessment for each user allowing the company to provide a service with optimum premiums.

Sumaho Hoken is classified as a P2P (peer-to-peer) insurance which applies the concept of a sharing economy to insurance, i.e. friends and groups of users (pools) who are interested in insurance against the same risk pay the insurance premiums, and a system is adopted whereby insurance money is paid out from this pool. To date, the company has raised seed funds from 500 Startups Japan, Naoki Aoyagi (CEO of Marcari’s payments-focused subsidiary Merpay), and others.

HERP by HERP

Herp provides a platform of the same name which automates the many tasks related to office work for recruitment. “Herp” automatically unifies tasks such as the creation of job listings, the creation of information on candidates, the notification of selection results, management of contact to the company, etc. By automating tasks that previously required an assistant employed by the company, employee costs can be reduced by 75% or more. Up to now, 500 companies have pre-registered.

The company believes the reason why recruitment options are not evolving is because platforms are separated by mediums and agents, which limits them. It will make Herp an open adoption marketing SaaS (software as a service) that can cooperate with multiple mediums and agents. In the future, the company plans to provide functions like predictions of investment effectiveness separate from the marketing channel, an automated AB test for job listings, and automated document selection.

LaboNavi by Inner Resource

Research department rules for purchasing are often put in place to ensure fraud prevention and optimization. Purchasing management requires a comparison of delivery prices from multiple vendors through competitive bidding, checking this with multiple people, sharing the results, and before ordering, one of the steps necessary in the process is to physically write it out. While some purchasing management systems have been introduced, the disadvantage remains that they are specialized systems, high in operation costs and difficult for users.

LaboNavi, developed by Inner Resource, is a general-purpose cloud service that enables users to complete business from purchase management to order placement strictly in accordance with the industry flow. Research departments that have introduced LaboNavi have seen workflow streamlined, the number of quotation requests sent to suppliers has been reduced to ⅓, and purchase prices have decreased by 8% on average. The company is backed by Tokyo-based VC firm Anri.

Logikura by NewRevo

NewRevo’s Logikura wants to tackle about $507B US problem of excess inventory at small and medium sized enterprises in Japan. Managers in charge of ordering for companies often place orders based on intuition and experience, which creates excess inventory. In order to deliver a data-driven ordering environment, Logikura provides demand forecasts based on economic trends, weather forecast, competitive analysis, damage rates, and other data.

There are no services in Japan there that offer everything from inventory control to demand forecasts in one package, so Logikura has an advantage in this respect. The company has received inquiries from more than 60 companies so far, and aims to acquire 5,000 companies in 5 years and reduce domestic excess inventory by 30%. It plans to offer the service at a rate of 600,000 yen (about $5,600 US) per year depending on the scale. In the future, NewRevo has plans to offer a marketplace function that allows users to trade excess inventory/stock shortage, as well as a lending function that uses stock as collateral.

The company participated in the 15th batch of Open Network Lab’s Seed Accelerator Program and raised 50 million yen (about $470K US) from Genesia Ventures in a pre-Series A round last December.

Yumerium by Subdream Studios

Yumerium, provided by Subdream Studios, is a platform that uses blockchain to reward users for playing, reviewing, and sharing games. By pouring the concept of the token economy into game players and communities, the company wants to create an ecosystem that will benefit not only game makers but also players and influencers while acquiring popular game titles.

In the meantime, the company will expand its services by producing its own titles and network, and will start to handle third party titles from 2019 onwards. Following this, it is planning to grow as a  crowdfunding platform. So far in its seed round, Subdream Studios has raised $1.6 million US from Genesia Ventures, DeNA, Cognitive Investment, HTC, and others.

Translated by Amanda Imasaka
Edited by Masaru Ikeda