Monthly Update, April 2021 (Tokyo)

1. AI platform provider, ABEJA (Season 1) entered into a capital and business alliance with SOMPO Holdings

ABEJA, a company that realizes digital transformation in the industrial world through collaboration between AI and human, has entered into a capital and business alliance agreement with SOMPO Holdings, which acquired 21.9% of ABEJA’s outstanding shares through a transfer from existing shareholders on April 14.

Since 2020, ABEJA has been responsible for building predictive models using data analysis and machine learning, as well as joint business development in the nursing care/healthcare business and domestic non-life insurance business domains of SOMPO Holdings. ABEJA is also collaborating with SOMPO Holdings in such areas as the training and recruitment of human resources driving DX.

By utilizing ABEJA’s resources, we believe that we can contribute to the early realization of the “Real Data Platform for Safety, Security, and Health” that SOMPO Holdings aims for, and that it is a meaningful initiative in realizing ABEJA’s vision of “implement a fruitful world”. (in Japanese)

2. Crowd Credit (Season 5), marketplace lending platform, announced a total of 10M USD fundraising

Crowd Credit has raised capital from the respective funds managed by Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Capital, GMO Venture Partners and others. This round will be conducted under the same conditions as the rounds announced on May 15, 2020 and December 16, 2020, and when combined, the total amount of funds raised will be approximately 1.1 billion yen (10 million USD).

Our corporate mission is “Finance that connects the world”, and we have been providing financial services in the form of “lending crowdfunding” to connect fund seekers in many countries with investors in Japan. The impact of COVID-19 was not insignificant on our business, which has lenders in many countries around the world. In order to respond to the changes in the environment, we have implemented various measures, such as strengthening the fund management system, expanding fund series with reduced foreign exchange risk, and introducing and enhancing functions to promote diversified investments. As a result, thanks to the support of our clients, our business performance recovered to the level before the COVID-19 spread in many respects at the end of last fiscal year, and has remained strong since then.

We will use this capital to optimize our business structure while continuing to assess the impact of COVID-19, accelerate the recovery trend, and put our business back on a growth track. Specifically, the funds will be used mainly for strengthening the fund management system, marketing (including collaborative measures) to reach a broader customer base, and system development for improving UI/UX to enhance the customer experience. (in Japanese)

3. Mago Channel developer, Chikaku (Season 7) fundraised 500M Yen (4.6M USD)

Under the slogan of “Seniors First,” Chikaku is developing the “Mago Channel,” which allows users to send videos and photos taken with a smartphone application directly to their parents’ TV sets, simulating the experience of living with family members away from home through the large screen of the TV. While it is difficult for people to return home in the Corona pandemic, Mago Channel has more than tripled in growth over the past year supported by many customers from 50s to over 100 years old. (in Japanese)

4. Wi-Fi mesh solution of PicoCELA (Season 11) has been installed in a total of 43 locations of Okasan Securities

PicoCELA is a technology company that provides enterprise-grade Wi-Fi mesh solutions with numerous deployments in mission-critical use cases. It is possible to mesh link more than 10 child devices to a single parent device. PicoCELA’s Wi-Fi mesh solution has been adopted by Okasan Securities in some of its head office departments and sales branches (43 locations in total).

With PicoCELA’s Wi-Fi mesh technology, each location only needs to plug and place the PicoCELA device into a power outlet once the installation of optical fiber lines at one location is completed. In a large office or store, multiple devices can be installed to ensure tightness of the area, and even then, installation is completed by simply plugging them into a power outlet. Installation work is almost eliminated by attaching the unit to a wall or shelf with magnets. The installation cost was reduced to about half that of the conventional LAN cable wiring required, and the entire installation was completed in nine days. (in Japanese)