Skip to main content

ChatBook, developing chatbot and marketing automation tool, acquired by Monex Group

ChatBook, providing the automated marketing solution under the same name utilizing chatbot, has been acquired by Japan’s leading FinTech conglomerate Monex Group(TSE:8698). Monex acquired all stakes in ChatBook for an undisclosed sum.

Chatbook’s most recent funding was a pre-series A round in December of 2019 (securing 100 million yen, about $920,000 in the exchange rate at the time) where Monex Ventures, the VC arm of Monex Group, participated in the investment. Japanese startup database Initial reported ChatBook was valued at 712 million yen (about $6.6 million) at the time.

Chatbook was co-founded in September of 2016 (named Hect as its start) by Maiko Kojima who formerly worked for Prime Again (now known as Prime) as CFO/COO. The firm has been chosen for various accelerator programs so far; the first batch of the Code Public program in 2016, Accelerate course of FbStart which is a developer support program by Facebook in 2017 and the first batch of AI Accelerator organized by the major job information provider Dip.

Read More…

SAP.iO Foundry Tokyo To Accelerate Startups for Sustainable Enterprise

April 20, 2021 SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today launched its B2B startup program at SAP.iO Foundry Tokyo with focus on Sustainable Enterprise. Six startups working in the areas of chasing Zero Emissions, Zero Waste, Zero Inequality, and building trust with transparency have been selected to join the program.

“With SAP customers generating 87% of total global commerce, we recognize both the opportunity and responsibility to deliver digital solutions that enable our customers to manage limited resources productively, contribute to an inclusive economy, and shape a sustainable future.” said Hirofumi Suzuki, SAP Japan President and Representative Director. “This program will encourage our customers to utilize a variety of new solutions or technologies with SAP systems brought by cutting-edged startups”

The equity-free program is designed to accelerate innovation and drive new business models for SAP’s customers. During the 13-week virtual program, the startups will have access to curated mentorship, exposure to SAP® technology and application programming interfaces (APIs), as well as collaboration opportunities with SAP customers.

The data and analytics cohort includes the following startups:

  • Astamuse provides data and algorithms for solving social problems and creating the future.
  • Babel provide “ailead” – cloud-based online meeting management and analysis service that maximizes the results of the entire sales team by supporting the development of salespersons.
  • Eitoss provides cloud services specialized in kaizen proposals system for manufacturing and other on-site industries.
  • Latona develops and provides Edge / AI / IoT Platform, Products, Solutions and Technologies.
  • Pirika contributes to resolve environmental issues based “Takanome” (assess litter distribution), “Pirika” (anti-litter SNS application), and “Albatross” (survey system of microplastics).
  • sustainacract provides highly transparent forest evaluation solution to generate sound fund flow to nature capital.

About SAP.iO
SAP.iO delivers new partnerships and products for SAP by accelerating and scaling startup innovation as well as incubating employee ventures. SAP.iO brings together innovators from every region, industry, and line of business to transform how businesses run. Since 2017, SAP.iO has helped 370+ external startups and internal ventures accelerate their growth while enabling thousands of SAP customers to access innovation. For more information, visit http://sap.io/.

Office leasing proptech Estie completes $9m Series A

Estie, a Japanese proptech operating an office leasing and rental office matching service, announced raising a approximate ¥1 billion ($8,750,000 USD) Series A, according to TechCrunch Japan. The company says it will use the funds to strengthen its HR team recruitment and plans to expand both its product and operation departments in order to build, develop and support its multi-product commercial real estate offering.

Read More…

3i Inc. Receives CES 2022 Innovation Award For Pivo Pod X

Pivo Inc. of 3i Inc., a metaverse technology company that develops products utilizing artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR), announced that it has been named a Best of Innovation Award Honoree at CES 2022. The announcement was made on January 3rd in the media event, which precedes the Consumer Electronics Show 2022 (CES 2022), the world’s largest consumer electronics exhibition show.

Pivo Pod X, Pivo’s award winning product, is the new addition to the company’s robust lineup of auto-tracking smart pods that enhance the capabilities of your smartphone. Pivo Pod X is a re-envisioning of the original Pivo Pod with its added software features, longer battery life and highly requested vertical tracking. The Pod X, along with its powerful suite of apps, enables creators to produce dynamic, high-quality photos, videos, 360° images and 3D virtual tours. Thanks to Pivo’s proprietary Face, Body, Object and Animal Tracking, creators are no longer limited to stagnant content, even when creating alone. The product is set to be released in the second quarter of 2022.

Read More…

LiLz uses computer vision to read gauges and dials where humans prefer not to tread

No one wants to be the maintenance worker who has to hike through half a mile of damp hallways just to check the pressure gauge on a valve somewhere. LiLz makes it possible to keep an eye on such inconvenient physical interfaces remotely with a clever and practical application of machine learning.

The Japanese (specifically Okinawan) startup has been around for a little while — in fact our colleagues at TC JP have written them up. But despite the seemingly obvious value of its service, it hasn’t quite hit the big time yet. LiLz participated in CES as part of the country’s trade group, along with a bunch more companies listed here.

LiLz’s device looks a bit like a chubby tablet without a screen. It’s essentially a camera, light and processing and communications chips packed in with a big battery — enough power to last up to three years.

You mount the device so it can see the gauge or dial in question. After confirming picture and signal, you configure it in the app to interpret what it’s pointed at; it can read circular, semicircular and linear gauges, digital and rolling or analog digit displays, or things like colored warning lights.

Once it’s set up, it’ll send readings live or at intervals to a central dashboard, or make them available via API so they can be queried or recorded elsewhere. The data goes out via LTE or Bluetooth.

Read More…

Beamo wins Best Enterprise Solution at the AWE 2021 Auggie Awards

3i Inc.’s Beamo, an enterprise-grade digital twin solution for mission-critical facilities and a member of Born2Global Centre, took home the trophy for Best Enterprise Solution at the AWE 2021 12th Auggie Awards in Santa Clara, CA. The Auggie Awards is an annual award ceremony that showcases the best of the best in augmented, virtual, and mixed reality. The Best Enterprise Solution award was presented by Christine Perey, Board Member and Founder of AR for Enterprise Alliance.

Read More…

SAP.iO Foundry Tokyo To Accelerate Data & Analytics Startups

October 6, 2021 SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) launched its B2B startup program at SAP.iO Foundry Tokyo with focus on data and analytics. Five startups working in the areas of data harmonization, business analytics, machine learning and data-as-a-service have been selected to join the program.

“It has become increasingly important for our customers to analyze data and get insights from it, particularly in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic,” said Hirofumi Suzuki, SAP Japan President and Representative Director. “This program will encourage our customers to use a variety of data on SAP platforms with new technology from cutting-edged startups”.

The equity-free program is designed to accelerate innovation and drive new business models for SAP’s customers. During the 13-week virtual program, the startups will have access to curated mentorship, exposure to SAP® technology and application programming interfaces (APIs), as well as collaboration opportunities with SAP customers.

The data and analytics cohort includes the following startups:

  • EAGLYS provides safer and more private ways of processing and exchanging data via secure computing systems, as well as enables AI to process always encrypted data.
  • Sustainable Lab allows companies to visualize the cost-effectiveness (contribution to earnings and stock price) of their sustainable development goals (SDG) actions using artificial intelligence and big data analysis.
  • Synspective offers one-stop-solutions using geospatial data from its own synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) satellites to provide data and analytic information to governments and commercial outfits.
  • Tradewalz provides a cross-industry digital trade platform to share trade documents and electronic data using blockchain technology.
  • Zeroboard streamlines corporate CO2 emission calculation, reduction management, and compliance with regulatory reporting and market disclosure.

About SAP.iO
SAP.iO delivers new partnerships and products for SAP by accelerating and scaling startup innovation as well as incubating employee ventures. SAP.iO brings together innovators from every region, industry, and line of business to transform how businesses run. Since 2017, SAP.iO has helped 300+ external startups and internal ventures accelerate their growth while enabling thousands of SAP customers to access innovation. For more information, visit https://sap.io/.

3i Inc. raises $24M in oversubscribed Series A funding round

3i Inc specializes in metaverse technology, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). The immersive technology company is also a member of Born2global Centre.

Ken Kim, CEO of 3i said: “The metaverse is the next-generation platform, where soon, all media flows are expected to move. Our products and solutions help enterprises and content creators leap onto the metaverse much more easily, seamlessly, and quickly than ever before, changing the way the physical world interacts with the digital world.”

This most recent round of funding included $20 million from new financial and strategic investors. The remaining $4 million came from existing investors.

“3i is a company which is growing dramatically in B2B digital twin solutions using AI and AR/VR technologies and B2C video content creation platform,” said Joo-wan Jeong, Director at SV Investment, the investment company that led the funding round.

He added: “I made this investment because I believe 3i will be able to grow into the only global player that possesses both technology and content in the integrated metaverse.”

Read More…

3i’s AI technology creates digital twins using smartphone photos

Innovating industrial plants is often a difficult decision-making process for companies because changing a single piece of equipment requires a thorough on-site inspection from a team of experts in electricity, network, pipes, machines and structure.

But South Korea-based startup 3i Inc. helps remove such roadblocks through its digital twin solutions. The company operates Beamo, an artificial intelligence technology-based service that creates a 3D digital twin for companies.

A digital twin is a virtual representation of a physical object or a service that shares real-time data with its counterpart.

“Maps and street views were used to digitalize outdoor space, which wasn’t the case for indoor space. But now an easy and speedy creation of a digital twin for indoor space is achievable via 3i’s AI technology,” said Ken Kim, the chief executive of 3i, in an interview with The Korea Economic Daily on Aug. 24.

Read More…

SAP.iO Foundry Tokyo Kicks Off Accelerator Program Focused on Consumer Products

 SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) announced its first consumer-products-focused business-to-business technology accelerator program at SAP.iO Foundry Tokyo. The cohort will comprise four early-stage startups in the retail, consumer goods and distribution industries.

“COVID-19 has led consumers to adopt new habits and behaviors, which will continue in the long term,” said Hirofumi Suzuki, SAP Japan president and representative director. “This program will allow us to offer our customers new digital technologies to connect with consumers.”

The SAP.iO zero-equity-ask program is designed to accelerate innovation and drive new business models for SAP’s customers. During the 13-week virtual program, the startups will have access to curated mentorship, exposure to SAP technology and application programming interfaces (APIs), and collaboration opportunities with SAP customers.

The SAP.iO Foundry Tokyo Fall 2020 program includes the following startups:

  • ChatBook provides marketing automation solutions to generate leads and deliver personalized experiences across the entire customer journey through instant communications platforms.
  • True Data provides Big Data marketing services and advanced analysis technology at scale by integrating the gender, behavior and other ID data with product-trend point-of-sale data.
  • Vox Japan provides a connected reusable boxing service with remotely operated smart delivery carts that authenticates and tracks delivery and pickup information by smartphone.

Startup Guide Tokyo: how this global tech hub is reinventing itself for a new wave of entrepreneurs

With a GDP of $5 trillion, Japan’s market is the third-largest economy in the world. Japanese customers are known to be sophisticated, and demand high standards of proof of concept. Greater Tokyo – with a population of over 14 million – accounts for a major chunk of Japan’s GDP.Japan was the sixth-largest market in terms of venture-capital investment in 2017, and the University of Tokyo graduated around 250 startups that year. Notable startups in recent years include Preferred Networks, Nihon Kotsu, CrowdWorks, Mercari and Line.

SAP Japan aims to be a “lighthouse of innovation” for customers, and is developing the Business Innovators Network. It also runs the SAP.iO Foundry Tokyo accelerator programme and SAP Leonardo Experience Center.

Read more…

Exclusive: Maggie Buggie, SVP and Global Head of Innovation Services and Solutions, SAP SE

This year, we’re celebrating the 30thanniversary of SAP in APJ and I’m so excited by what the future holds for our customers, as the pace of innovation continues. I’m so inspired by the pace of innovation within our own organisation in the region. For instance: the first SAP.iO Foundry in Asia was launched in August in Tokyo, followed by SAP’s first start-up accelerator in Singapore, SAP.iO Foundry Singapore. SAP ANZ hosted its first innovation experience event, e’ffect in August and the first partner-run SAP AppHaus in the region was launched in Australia earlier this year.

Read More…

Sky is the Limit: Spirit of Innovation in SAP Asia

Blog written by Christian Klein, COO & Executive Board Member of SAP

Tomorrow’s SAP starts today. Having just returned from an amazing trip in Japan, South Korea and China, it’s clear that SAP Asia is embracing the innovation, energy and spirit that will take SAP to great heights in the future.

During the week, I spent time with customers, partners and colleagues, and from each and every one of them, I had the sense of their commitment to innovation, their engagement with technology and the powerful potential that this region holds. I also engaged with the media, who see SAP as leading the move to the intelligent enterprise.

I also met the start-ups and investors forming the first cohort of the SAP.iO Foundry in Tokyo, as well as over 600 employees who attended the All Hands Meeting and a coffee corner in person and online.

Read More…