Monthly Update, March 2022 (Tokyo)

April 4, 2022

1. Synspective (Season 14) works with the World Bank and NDRRMA to assess slope instability-related geohazards in Melamchi, Nepal and announced US $100 Million funding

Synspective, under the supervision of the World Bank and National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority (NDRRMA), Government of Nepal, investigated the land displacement hazards in the upstream part of the Melamchi River, Nepal in response to the destructive flood disaster that occurred there on June 15, 2021. The results demonstrated that Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data and time-series interferometric SAR (InSAR) analysis-based Earth observation techniques have the capabilities to offer a more cost-saving alternative to periodically monitor slopes with susceptibility and identify the potential precursors of slow-evolving failure conditions.
In the month, Synspective also announced that the company has raised US $100M (11.9 billion yen) including a Series B funding round. The latest funding was led by Sompo Japan Insurance Inc. (Tokyo, Japan), Nomura SPARX Investment, Inc. (Tokyo, Japan), and Pavilion Capital Pte. Ltd. (Singapore) among others, as well as bank loans, and it is supposed to be ranked within the top ten largest startups in Japan. This puts our total funding value at US $200M (22.8 billion yen) since our founding.

2. Liberaware (Season 10), a developer of small industrial drones, raises 400 million yen (US $3.3 million) in new funding

Liberaware, a developer of IBIS, a compact industrial drone for indoor use, has raised approximately 400 million yen through a third-party allocation of new shares with existing investor, Bonds Investment Group and Chiba Dojo Drone Department No. 2 Investment Limited Liability Partnership as subscribers, for a cumulative total amount of 1.36 billion yen (US $11 million).
Pre-marketing has been underway since the summer of 2021 for major steel, electric power, and construction companies in South Korea. With this funding, we plan to build a framework for business expansion into South Korea and officially launch the service in the summer of 2022. In South Korea, as in Japan, there are many issues related to infrastructure and plant maintenance, and we will use our “IBIS” to solve these issues.
In addition, we will focus on research and application development of 3D video technology to contribute to the digital twin of the manufacturing and construction industries. (Japanese)

3. HACARUS (Season 12) launches sales of Appearance Inspection System with AI x Robot x Illuminated Camera

HACARUS, an artificial intelligence (AI) system development company that solves problems with small amounts of data, has launched HACARUS Check, Japan’s first visual inspection system combining high-performance AI, a robot arm, and an illuminated camera.
This is a patent-pending proprietary technology that can detect defects down to 0.1 mm in all directions on three-dimensional objects with complex shapes (castings, pressed products, etc.), which have been difficult to detect with conventional inspection equipment. It has achieved the highest level of inspection capability in Japan, and will present a model for “Digital Transformation (DX),” a business reform using digital technology for the manufacturing industry, to encourage both labor saving and quality improvement. (Japanese)

4. JamRoll, an AI-powered SaaS that automatically records, analyzes, and organizes any online meeting, is released by Empath (Season 9), a voice emotion analysis AI company

“JamRoll” improves sales by visualizing the process of online business meetings through automatic recording and AI analysis, and reduces the man-hours required to take meeting minutes by transcribing text through voice recognition. JamRoll is also equipped with Empath’s voice emotion analysis AI, which is used in 50 countries around the world, to automatically visualize the mental state of team members even when they are working remotely, enabling early care for team members and preventing turnover. (Japanese) (Japanese)