The funding is in! This week’s roundup features the latest funding for fintech biz One Tap Buy, as well as updates on VR, AI, and drones.
Full details below:
Tomaruba is a Kyoto-based vacation rental startup that manages everything from attracting customers to making renovations. Tomaruba’s high-end renovated guest houses/hotels are traditional in style, which appeals to foreign and local tourists alike. Tomaruba has also created Machiya Support, a service that manages vacation rentals, and Smart Vacation Rental, an iPad app that allows vacation renters to control appliances, air conditioners, etc.
Tomaruba raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Japanese crowdsourcing platform, Crowdworks. Including previous investments from B Dash Ventures, Anri, and some undisclosed angel investors, Tomaruba’s total funding now rounds out to about US$732,000. With this latest round of investment, Tomaruba is looking to leverage the money to grow Smart Vacation Rental and to expand beyond Kyoto.
Drone software company Clue offers more than just general drone services. Its DroneRoofer service enables users to operate drones from their iPads and capture aerial images of their roofs. DroneCloud, on the other hand, lets users manage their data, projects, and flight logs online. Companies can also book these services and hire Clue for projects like public works surveying, building inspections, aerial imaging, etc.
On November 15, Clue announced it has raised US$3 million from several big investors in Japan, including Dentsu, iMercury, Adways, FreakOut, Spiral, Campfire, ANRI, DroneFund, Dream, and Real Tech Fund.
One Tap Buy
One Tap Buy enables the buying and selling of American and Japanese stocks as well as 225 ETFs listed in Japan. As of October, One Tap Buy has been downloaded 600,000 times by users who are mostly stock trading beginners. To boost thier knowlege, One Tap Buy has educational mangas on investment basics and financial news on related companies.
One Tap Buy has added another US$22.3 million to its mountain of funding, bringing its total to over US$30 million. Tech in Asia previously reported on One Tap Buy in February, when it raised US$13.3 million from Softbank, Mizuho Capital, and Mobile Internet Capital. Previous investors also joined this round, but a new player, Yahoo Japan, was added to the mix.
Jolly Good Inc.
Jolly Good Inc. offers two main cutting-edge media products: GuruVR and VRCHEL. GuruVR provides equipment and software necessary to create 360-degree content. Clients include major Japanese television companies like Hokkaido Broadcasting, Broadcasting System of Niigata, and Tokai. VRCHEL is a VR and AI service that analyzes 2D and 360-degree content. Through an AI algorithm, VRCHEL gives film industry professionals data analytics capabilities so they can determine viewing patterns and other relevant information.
According to a November 17 press release, Jolly Good has secured US$3.6 million in investments from DIP Corporation, and aSTART Co.
Set to debut in December, JustInCase allows anyone to register their smartphone phone or other electronic devices for damage insurance in about 90 seconds. Through its AI algorithm, JustIncase will determine the price of a monthly subscription plan based on customers’ risk and the kind of electronic device they’re registering. The cost ranges from about US$2 to US$5 a month. A special feature lets users connect with friends to create an insurance pool so they can share costs and risks.
Launched in August, Lute is an Instagram-based media company. It started out in 2016 as a YouTube variety channel for music videos, live events, and documentaries. The company then pivoted and turned into a pop culture site that uses Instagram to distribute content aimed at millennials.
In their recently raised seed round, Lute secured US$700,000 from Gumi Ventures, Candee, Allfuz, and individual investors.
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