Monthly Update February 2021 (Tokyo)

1. Kubota Invests in ListenField (Season 9), farm management support services and precision agriculture technology

In 2019, with the aim of promoting open innovation through partnerships with external organizations, Kubota established its first Innovation Center in Japan. The company’s recent investments in startups have enabled Kubota to deepen its knowledge of advanced agritech, ecotechnology, and new business models, thereby accelerating development of innovative business solutions in the agriculture and water environment sectors.

ListenField, in which Kubota has recently taken an equity stake, offers private farmers and agricultural corporations farm management support services that can be accessed via smartphones and other mobile devices. ListenField uses its proprietary platform to provide a wide range of services related to farm management, including data browsing of weather and soil conditions, and a chat tool for exchanging information with other farmers. The company has already acquired many users in Thailand through ListenField Thailand.

2. ALE (Season 11), with the mission to make space closer for people, announces US $21 million of financing

ALE announces the allocation of new shares to third parties underwritten by the Space Frontier Fund (operated by SPARX Innovation for Future Co., Ltd.), Horizons Ventures, THVP No.2 Investment Limited Partnership (operated by Tohoku University Venture Partners Co., Ltd.) and private investors. In addition to its series A financing, announced 5th September 2019, ALE will secure a total of approximately US$21 million by April 2022 with participation from existing and new investors. The total amount of funding including series A will be approximately US $47 million.

This additional financing will help the company further develop its third satellite for man-made shooting stars (on-orbit demonstration in 2023 and commercialization subsequently), the space debris prevention component using an ElectroDynamic Tether* (on-orbit demonstration is planned for FY 2021), and the component technology for atmospheric data acquisition as well as establishing an organizational structure for the Atmospheric Data business development.

3. Toletta Cats (Season 9) raises capital from CVC in the US and joins in Leap Venture Studio, a global pet accelerator program

Toletta Cats has been selected for the fourth phase of Leap Venture Studio, the first global accelerator program in the pet industry. It is the first Asian company to be selected for this program and will receive $200,000 investment from LVS to support its expansion into the US.

LVS is an accelerator program for pet business startups sponsored by Leap Ventures, an organization created through a partnership between Kinship, a division of Mars Petcare, and Michelson Found Animals, an animal welfare foundation. (in Japanese)

4. EAGLYS (Season 13) raises 800 million yen (US$7.5M) in series A to strengthen confidential data linkage and analysis

In January 2020, EAGLYS launched DataArmor Gate DB, a proxy-type software that enables sharing, searching, and analysis of data while keeping it confidential using secret calculation technology, and has been promoting the advancement of database security and the construction of secure data utilization and analysis environments among companies. (in Japanese)