Japan is a major economic power in Asia as well as the world and is considered one of the most innovative nations of the world. Japan has come a long way since World War II. The economy is the third-largest in the world by nominal GDP ($5.154 trillion) and the fourth-largest in the world by purchasing power parity ($5.747 trillion). Japan has a vast and diverse consumer market which is the third-largest in the world. The country has the biggest electronics good industry in the world and the third-largest automobile industry. Some of the biggest conglomerates of the world have their roots in Japan – Toyota Motor Corporation, SoftBank Group, Mitsubishi, Sony, Honda Motors, etc.
The startup ecosystem of Japan is highly innovative and well-funded which is evident for a nation with such economic muscle. It is interesting to note that SoftBank has raised a total of US$213.1B across 4 funds, their latest being SoftBank Vision Fund II. This fund was announced on Jul 25, 2019, and raised a total of US$108B. 2019 has been a good year for the Japanese startup ecosystem where 19 companies raised more than US$25M. Below is the list.
|Organization Name||Last Funding Amount Currency (in USD)||Last Funding Date|
|AI Medical Service||$42,900,000||2019-10-04|
|Pixie Dust Technologies||$35,142,209||2019-05-23|
|Active SONAR .Inc||$33,972,520||2019-08-26|
Read on to know about the top 10 startups in this list, the funding details, investors and much more.
Coconala was founded in the year 2012 by Akiyuki Minami, Mei Taniguchi, Satoshi Shinmei and has its headquarters in the Asia Pacific. This company provides an e-learning platform for various people. The core work of the company revolves around buying and selling skills and knowledge of the people who are willing to do and have a knack in teaching. In July 2019, this company has managed to raise a funding of 1.2 billion US dollars in its venture funding round. Fidelity International evolved to be a leading investor in this round. Other investors include OPT, JAFCO Japan, Nissay Capital and SMBC Venture Capital who are loyal to this company.
It is a financial services company based out of Japan, which was founded in 1999. This company has raised a fund of 800 M US Dollars in post IPO equity round in Feb 2019. KDDI is the sole investor who participated in the funding round.
This company works in the OLED industry and provides a news aggregation platform. It was founded in 2004 and provides daily news, resources, services and necessary updates for OLED technology. In its funding round in April 2019, the company raised a fund of ¥25.5B (US$ 229M). Sony, Nissha Co. Ltd, and Innovation Network Corporation of Japan participated in the funding round in which the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan emerged to be the leading investor. OLED Info was acquired by Japan Display Inc. on Dec 13, 2016.
Line Pay provides a platform for easy and secure payments. Line Corporation funded this company with 182M US Dollars in Feb 2019 in a Corporate Funding round. Line Pay is looking to expand its reach to the International markets.
Synspective was founded in Feb 2018 by Motoyuki Arai. This startup works in the direction of providing solutions for customer challenges with utilizing and integrating data from “SAR” satellite constellations, big data, and so on. In July 2019, the firm managed to raise 10.9 Billion JPY (US$100M) in series A funding round. Space aSTART 1 Limited Partnership was the leading investor. Mizohu Capital, Fuyo General Lease, SBI investment, Abies Ventures, Innovations and Future Creations, Shimizu Corporation have also invested in this company.
SmartNews was founded in June 2012 and it helps users find quality news beyond the filter bubble leveraging the power of Machine Learning. In Nov 2019, the company raised 92 million USD in Series E funding round. The leading investors include ACA investments Pvt. Ltd., and Japan Post Capital. Apart from this, Development Bank of Japan, Dentsu, Global Capital Partners, and GREE are its existing investors.
Paidy is a platform that enables customers to buy online without a credit card or registration. The company was founded in 2008 by Russel Cummer. Paidy raised 83M USD in a Series C funding round in which Paypal ventures emerged to be the leading investor. Other existing investors of the company include JS Capital Management, Goldmann Sachs and Mizohu Bank. This funding will be utilized for strengthening the balance sheet which in turn will help the company to expand.
SmartHR provides back-office support to various businesses. The company was founded in the year 2013 by Shoji Miyata. Smart HR raised 6.2 Billion JPY (57M USD) in a recent Series C funding in July 2019. Coral Capital, BEENEXT and World Innovation Lab (WiL) are the investors who participated in the funding round.
AI Medical Service was founded in the year 2017 and helps in detecting gastric Cancer by leveraging cutting-edge AI software. In October 2019, the company raised 42.9M US Dollars from various investors. The leading investors include Globis Capital Partners, Sony Innovation Fund, World Innovation Lab (WiL), and Incubate fund. This startup plans to further increase its staff and get more equipment.
Founded in 2015 by Kazuhisa Shibayama, Wealthnavi provides a platform for all asset managers which uses Risk Management Algorithm for asset management advice. Wealthnavi raised 4.1 Billion JPY (37M USD) in a Series D funding round. Global Brain Corporation, Sony Financial Ventures were the leading investors. The company is planning to further develop and strengthen its robo-advisor and asset management platform.
These are some of the companies having their headquarters in Japan and their recent funding scenario in 2019. Keep an eye on our investor darling series on AsiaTechDaily. We would be covering all major countries in Asia.