Monthly Update, July 2022 (Tokyo)

August 3, 2022

1. sustainacraft (season 16), raised the fund from MUFG Innovation Partners

sustainacraft, an innovative solution provider that brings transparency to Nature-based Solutions, announced that it raised the fund from MUFG Innovation Partners (MUIP), a corporate venture capital fund and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), the leading global financial group of Japan.

sustainacraft provides (1) satellite-based forest monitoring solution to estimate the carbon stock by using multiple data sources including optical imageries, satellite LiDAR, and RADAR imageries, and (2) transparent carbon credit project platform with causal inference-based FREL (forest reference emission level) estimation solutions. sustainacraft’s unique combination of technologies will help carbon credit mechanism function in an appropriate manner, and help carbon credit widely traded across the globe.

With the fund raised, sustainacraft will accelerate their mission, grow their team and expand the number of nature projects that they bring their solutions to.

2. uHoo (Season 16) Aura secures RESET™ accreditation

uHoo, a climate-tech company well known for developing smart and advanced indoor environmental monitoring and risk management technologies is delighted to announce that the uHoo Aura air quality monitor has been certified by RESET™ as a RESET Air Accredited Grade B monitor and uHoo’s software as a RESET Accredited Data Provider!

Regenerative Ecological, Social, and Economic Targets or RESET™ is a globally acknowledged set of standards that focus on data quality and data transparency with the purpose of helping built environments become healthy and sustainable. It is the world’s first certification program that is sensor-based and performance-driven. Unlike other building standards, RESET™ was designed with a clear understanding of the importance of air quality and why it needs to be monitored throughout a building’s entire operations.

3. Novars (Season 11), a developer of the "MaBeee" connected battery, has developed the MaBeee ML with LTE-M communication functionality

The "Connected Battery MaBeee Series" is an IoT device in the form of a battery. The MaBeee series has been used in fields such as programming education and monitoring of the elderly, but because it communicates over a short distance using BLE, a smartphone or dedicated gateway was required to be in close proximity.

This time, the adoption of LTE-M as the communication method significantly expands the communication distance, enabling cloud connection via carrier communication networks as long as the device is within the communication range of the carrier. This enables use in remote monitoring of facilities, disaster prevention, and other situations where long-distance communication is required. (Japanese)

4. Liberaware (Season 10) begins IBIS drone operations at Nippon Steel facility

Liberaware and Nippon Steel Corporation jointly studied the application of IBIS, a small drone that can fly stably and take highly accurate images even in narrow spaces, and began operating the drone at a large structural facility within the steel mill in July of this year.

IBIS is one of the industry's smallest drones, measuring 20 cm in length and weighing 185 g. It is equipped with advanced attitude control functions, enabling stable flight and high-precision imaging inside narrow and complex facilities. It can also generate three-dimensional data such as point clouds from acquired video and image data. (Japanese)

5. Tenchijin (Season 15) has been selected for the "Advanced Satellite Remote Sensing Data Application Model Demonstration Project for Problem Solving" sponsored by the National Space Policy Secretariat at the Cabinet Office, Government of Japan

Tenchijin teamed up with the Water Supply and Sewerage Bureau of Toyota City to participate in the planning competition and was selected. Tenchijin's "Water Pipeline Leakage Risk Assessment Method and Leakage Survey Support Tool" will develop a leakage risk assessment method for water pipelines that can be used to determine the priority of leakage surveys by utilizing ground data such as leakage repair locations along with various satellite data, as well as develop and demonstrate a leakage survey support tool that will enable local governments to conduct leakage surveys more efficiently.

6. Alpaca (Season 2), developer of stock and virtual currency trading APIs, makes "once-separated" Alpaca Japan a wholly owned subsidiary

Alpaca, a San Mateo-based developer and provider of APIs for equity investment and virtual currency trading, has announced that it has made Alpaca Japan, which operates in Japan, a subsidiary of Alpaca. Alpaca Japan will be responsible for the operation of Alpaca's business in the Japanese market as it expands its business globally.

Alpaca and Alpaca Japan had been operating separate businesses in Japan and the U.S. and had no direct capital relationship. The company was originally founded by Tsuyoshi Yokokawa, a former day trader after working at Lehman Brothers and Nomura Securities, who co-founded Ikkyo Technology with a college friend in 2014. Initially developing image deep learning technology, Ikkyo gained attention at demo days at Orange Fab Asia and Movida Japan (at the time).

Ikkyo Technology established Alpaca as a legal entity to utilize its image deep learning technology as a trading platform and to expand it globally. Ikkyo Technology later became Alpaca Japan. From there, Alpaca in the US went on to develop APIs for stock and virtual currency trading, and Alpaca Japan went on to develop short-term market forecasts using AI.