This week had a ton of startups get funded in Japan, and here are some of the most interesting ones.
Floadia specializes in creating new, optimized circuitry for memory storage hardware. Floadia designs memory hardware based on customer specifications and then licenses the designs to the customers. The customers can then produce it themselves or through a third party.
Last Wednesday, a group of nine investors closed out a B round with just over US$14 million in funding. TechCrunch reports that business models like Floadia’s have been drawing attention in Japan ever since SoftBank’s US$32 billion acquisition of British semiconductor designer ARM holdings last year.
Aperza operates Aperza and Cluez, two web-based services that both target the manufacturing industries. Cluez allows companies to browse and download industrial materials catalogues, giving them a wide array of information about prices, quality, and providers.
In 2016, Cluez launched its Taiwanese version and started a strategic partnership with Chinese firm Gongkong to provide service to Chinese manufacturers, reports The Bridge.
The company’s other self-named service Aperza allows manufactures to compare quality and prices of industrial parts and materials. According to its press release, Aperza plans to allow users to make purchases directly through the site in the future.
It received an investment of US$5.3 million early last week from Jafco and GMO Venture Partners.
Future Standard, the makers of Scorer, received roughly US$1.8 million in funds from Spiral Ventures and TechAccel Ventures last week.
Scorer is a platform that simplifies the development of video analysis programs or services. Scorer combines several individual packages, such as facial recognition software and age estimation programs, into a multipurpose software suite. It also allows for extra utility through cloud computing. Future Standard CEO Satoshi Toriumi claims users can make a basic facial recognition program using the software in only 15 minutes, according to TechCrunch.
Orb uses blockchain technology to provide a secure and efficient method for making private transactions. Orb DLT, or “Orb distributed ledger technology,” allows users to make transactions that are validated through a decentralized network. This allows for both complete transcription of money changing hands and a high degree of security.
The startup received roughly US$1.3 million from Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Venture Capital and Nigata Venture Capital last week. The press release also says that both investors are interested in using Orb’s distributed ledger service for their own operations. Mitsui Sumitomo is currently planning trial runs of the software in its damage estimates department and Nigata Venture Capital hopes to implement Orb’s fintech solutions to stimulate the prefecture’s local economy.
Photoruction by Concore’s is an app for architects, construction teams, and land owners to easily take, save, and share blueprints or photos documenting the construction process. The app’s selling points include its digitization of normally paper-based work, its automation of album and photo organization, and its data sharing abilities.
The company received just under US$900,000 last Wednesday from Genesia Ventures, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Venture Capital, Mizuho Capital, and private investment fund Primal Capital. This round of investment comes just over a year after the company’s seed round in which it raised approximately US$130,000 in funding from one of this year’s investors, Primal Capital.
Pocket Concierge by Pocket Menu is an app that makes reservations at high end restaurants in Japan. The app also provides in depth information on restaurants ranging from the decor to whether couples can bring their young children. The app is currently available in both English and Japanese
Pocket Menu, which was funded by 500 Startups early last year, received an undisclosed amount of funds from Isetan Mitsukoshi Innovation on Wednesday. On the same day, Pocket Menu announced that it had closed deals with credit card providers JCB and American Express. These deals will bring American Express and JCB cardholders into the fold of customers who can pay restaurant bills or reservation fees directly through the app via credit card.
Converted from Japanese Yen. Rate: US$1 = JPY 113.20
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Editor’s Note: These startups are featured because they have acquired funding, and are not necessarily attending Tech in Asia Tokyo 2017.
That’s all for this week’s roundup, but this is just the tip of the iceberg for what’s going on in Japan’s startup scene. If you want to see what’s going on under the surface in the Japanese ecosystem, you should check out Tech in Asia Tokyo 2017 happening on September 27 & 28.
See aspiring startups come out in droves to Bootstrap Alley, listen to some of the biggest players in the game speak, and watch our storied Arena pitch battle, all for 20 percent off! This deal only lasts until July 21, so take advantage of this one-time-only deal by entering the code tiatokyo20 at checkout.
If you aren’t an outsider trying to see what’s going on in Japan, why not come on in to show off what you’ve got to the outside world? We are still accepting Bootstrap Alley applications, and just like with admission tickets, we’re offering them at 20 percent off until July 21.
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