At the Infinity Ventures Summit in Kyoto last week, 13 startups showcased their products to an audience of investors and entrepreneurs. Osaka-based Galaxy Agency, the company behind parking lot sharing platform Akippa, won the top prize. The top five winners and finalists were:
1st prize winner: Akippa (by Galaxy Agency)
Akippa is an online peer-to-peer parking lot sharing platform. Launched in Osaka, the service is available all across Japan and it allows users to park their car for up to 500 yen ($4) a day. They recently launched a valet parking service at selected locations, called Akippa Plus.
- Japan’s parking lot sharing platform Akippa secures additional funding from DeNA
- Japan’s Airbnb for parking spaces ‘Akippa’ fundraises from DeNA and angel investors
- Japan’s Akippa and Uber teamed up, proposing park-and-ride option for car owners
2nd prize winner: PopSlide (by Yoyo Holdings)
PopSlide is one of the largest mobile reward platforms in Southeast Asia. The platform distributes news, weather forecasts, and other updates to your smartphone lock screen. In return for viewing such information, users receive rewards for free Internet access on their smartphone.
- Mobile rewards startup Yoyo Holdings raises $1.3 million
- Candy: A sweet mobile rewards solution from Singapore’s Yoyo Holdings
3rd prize winner: Farmnote
Designed for dairy and stock farmers, Farmnote helps farmers manage livestock such as the early detection of disease and optimum breeding time for livestock. The mobile app can record livestock activity and store the data on the cloud as well as monitor a farm or a ranch.
4th prize winner: Karte (by Plaid)
Karte is a real-time customer behavior analytics platform for e-commerce sites. The platform provides insight into the demographics of typical e-commerce customers visiting a site, and it automates promotion efforts in order to gain conversion rates for opportunities such as user registration or item purchases.
5th prize winner: Mamorio (by Otoshimono.com)
Mamorio is the world’s smallest tracking tag that helps people find lost items using crowdsourced forces. The Otoshimono.com team launched a crowdfunding campaign for the tracking tag device on Japanese crowdfunding site Motion Gallery, and raised 3 million yen ($24,800) in a target bid of 1.5 million yen ($12,400).
Below are the startups selected as finalists.
Match: Battle-type study workbook app for high school students (by Baton)
Match is an app that aims to make the studying of Japanese history fun for high school students. The app is comprised of 2,000 questions from textbooks and university entrance exams.
Smaoku: Real-time flash auction app (by Zawatt)
Launched back in early 2013, this mobile auction app targets women in their 20s and 30s. Smaoku deals in luxury brand items, which is a key differentiator from other flea market apps and auction sites. In July, the company partnered with Mobaoku, a DeNA subsidiary behind an auction service.
Bizer: Crowdsourced back-office operation platform (by BizGround)
Bizer lets users crowdsource documentation tasks to business consultants, such as certified tax accountants, labor consultants, notary publics, and judicial scriveners, for a flat monthly subscription fee of 2,980 yen ($30). Accountants offer their free time and provide advice to SME owners via the platform.
Flipdesk: Promotion platform for e-commerce owners (by Socket)
Flipdesk is an e-commerce promotion platform targeting smartphone users. With the platform, e-commerce owners can give a different promotion reward to every customer; such as distributing optimized discount coupons or promotional messages similar to face-to-face sales efforts at a real store. The service has been deployed to Tokyu Hands Net Store, an online storefront by one of Japan’s largest variety store chains.
OpenLogi: Outsourced logistics service for small/medium-sized companies and freelancers
No Initial fee nor monthly fee needed. OpenLogi provides SMEs and freelancers with inspection at warehouse, storage in warehouse, shipping distribution, and management of returned merchandise are available for affordable rates.
Circuit: ‘Deep link’ optimization platform for mobile app developers (by Fukurou Labo)
Wovn.io: Adding multilingual support for websites with single script code (by Minimal Technologies)
Sekai Lab: Crowdsourced offshore app development service (by Sekai Lab Pte. Ltd.)
Sekai Lab allows Japanese companies to crowdsource their app development tasks at affordable rates from crowdsourced engineers in China, Vietnam, and other Asian countries. The platform helps users communicate with crowdsourced engineers in Japanese, aiming to help the Japanese IT industry despite a lack of engineers.