#Asia 4 rising startups in Japan


This week’s roundup features energy, ecommerce, and the return of Japan’s laundry-folding robot.

Full details below:


food, burger

Photo credit: André Luís.

Favy has raised US$3 million from Energy & Environment Investment, Mizuho Capital, and CyberAgent Ventures. The Bridge notes it also took a US$880,000 loan from a bank to complement this funding round. Favy previously raised US$1 million from Mizuho Capital and CyberAgent Ventures in April 2016.

The startup is best known for providing DIY website tools to restaurants along with a curated media website for foodies. This new round of funding will also be used to establish a showroom in Tokyo’s stylish Omotesando area. The showroom is co-developed with Seven Dreamers Laboratory. Accordingly, visitors will be able to try out Laundroid, that organization’s new clothing folding machine. Longtime readers with sharp memories will recall our report on Laundroid receiving a US$60 million series B last year.


Voicy closed its angel round with an assortment of twelve prominent industry figures. The terms were not disclosed, but participating investors included Toru Shimada (former VP of Rakuten) and Makoto Takano (editor in chief of Forbes Japan).

Voicy recruits both media personalities and news organizations to its platform. The entertainers read the news so users can get the latest info from their favorite voices. Since launching in beta last September with 40 voices and eight media organizations, Voicy has recruited an additional 100 voices and 17 news outlets.


Ecommerce, shopping online

Photo credit: gregorylee / 123RF.

Jiraffe, the company behind price comparison site Hikakaku closed a US$1.2 million series B round. As The Bridge notes, the company previously took a seed round of US$120,000 and a series A round of US$350,000.

The startup is growing alongside Japan’s popular second-hand goods industry. It lists numerous resellers and the prices for which they are likely going to buy your unwanted products. Users can then sell their items for the best price.



Photo credit: Nick Page.

Enechange is another startup responding to Japan’s recent loosening of energy retail laws. Now that smaller firms are also able to sell electricity, consumers need a tool to track and compare the costs. That tool is Enechange.

Its latest funding news is a US$440,000 add-on investment from Mizuho Capital. It tops up the firm’s US$4.4 million series A round from January, which was led by IMJ Investment Partners. In February 2016 it also scored US$3.7 million from Energy & Environment Investment and Hitachi.

We’ve been bringing you cool Japanese startups lately. Check out them out here.

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