#Asia 8 rising startups in Japan


This week’s roundup features a robo-adviser, an armband that mimics Minority Report, and two investments from Sony.

Full details below:

Money Design

Photo credit: sifotography / 123RF.

Money Design, the company behind the Theo robo-adviser, is making a return to our weekly roundup. Its series C was announced last November, but the funding amount was not released. Its newest investor, Fenox Venture Capital, topped up the round which is now worth US$13.4 million. The Japan Investment Advisers Association says that, as of September 2016, Money Design has the most assets under management with approximately US$45 million.


Business deal handshake

Photo credit: geralt.

Alarmbox, a credit risk service, has secured funding from Mizuho Capital, KLab Venture Partners, and Digital Hollywood. The funding follows an October 2016 round featuring lesser known investors like Office Busters and the Credit Exchange Agency. In total, Alarmbox has raised approximately US$900,000.

The startup offers two services. Securebox provides a warranty in case a client’s accounts receivable are delayed or cannot be obtained. Alarmbox is a credit management service for users to determine the financial risk of current or potential clients.

Doki Doki

Photo credit: Alexis Brown

Doki Doki believes it has found a new way to bring people together. Kyoto University Incubation Capital is also a believer to the tune of US$450,000 in pre-seed funding. The app is called Baby and is voice centric. Users can record five-second voice messages which are accessible by other Baby users near your location. Depending on how you sound, other users will decide whether or not to meet up. Messages automatically disappear so conversations with new acquaintances or old friends can remain discreet.

Baby is the latest project from Takahito Eguchi, the man behind Japan’s answer to Google Glass.


Football players in the rain

Photo credit: nexusplexus / 123RF.

Splyza is focusing on the sports industry with an app – Spoch – that makes it easy for teams or individuals to record, edit, and share videos of practices and games. Though based outside of Tokyo in neighboring Shizuoka Prefecture, the startup secured US$540,000 in seed funding. Venture Lab Investment led the round which saw Shizuoka Capital, Daiwa Corporate Investment as well as the straightforwardly named PE&HR Inc. all chip in as well.


Photo credit: Pixabay.

Mamorio produces a small, attachable tracking device. It’s rectangular shaped like luggage tags and is only 3.4mm thick. Using a bluetooth signal, it will show up in the product’s mobile app so misplaced keys, bags, and more can be found.

The startup took in a series A round from Melco Holdings. The total amount was not announced, but TechCrunch Japan believes it to be worth over US$2 million.

A10 Lab

Photo credit: Pankaj Mishra

Minchalle parent company A10Lab has closed a seed round of US$590,000 from Sony, Future Venture Capital, Dai-ichi Kangyo Credit Cooperative, and Globe Advisors.

Minchalle helps people achieve goals by putting individuals into groups of five. They will send pictures and texts to track progress and send support to each other for various challenges like dieting or studying for a professional certificate. Minchalle was born in November 2015 via Sony’s internal Seed Acceleration Program. A10 Lab split off from Sony this February.


Tom Cruise in Minority Report. Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox.

H2L – short for Happy Hacking Life – has designed an armband that can manipulate virtual reality. It received US$1.8 million from Sony Innovation Fund and Energy & Environment Investment, Inc.

The device is called Unlimited Hand and the developer’s edition is currently available in Japan. Given Sony’s investment, gamers might be using the device en masse sooner rather than later.


email, hack, hacking, legion, crime

Photo credit : feelart / 123RF.

Cocon does a little bit of everything – computer generated animation, crowd sourcing, and career consulting. Its cyber security business – Ierae Security – is the center of attention today. It is why SBI Group’s Fintech Business Innovation Fund put up US$4.5 million in a funding round.

Ierae tests your IoT devices as well as web and mobile applications for vulnerabilities. It has already grabbed major clients like CyberAgent.

This post 8 rising startups in Japan appeared first on Tech in Asia.

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