Monthly Update, March 2021 (Tokyo)

1. Pirika (Season 6), an environmental start-up raised a total of 100 million yen (900K USD) in funding

Since its founding in 2011, it has been working to solve environmental issues such as the problem of littering in nature, and have developed and provided unique services and solutions such as “Pirika,” a social networking service that shares and promotes litter picking activities, “Takanome,” which uses image analysis technology to survey a wide range of littering conditions, and “Albatross,” which surveys the amount of microplastics released and identifies products.

The issue of the outflow of plastic and other waste into nature has become one of the most important issues in the international community, with the Japanese government declaring at the G20 that it will reduce additional pollution from marine plastic waste to zero by 2050. In response to this trend, we are receiving an increasing number of inquiries for our services from companies and local governments seeking solutions for the collection and investigation of marine debris. (in Japanese)

2. ZEST (Season 7), a cloud service optimizing visit schedules for home healthcare, announces fundraising of approximately 74 million yen (670K USD)

In Japan, it is said that there will be a shortage of approximately 340,000 nursing care workers in FY2025 , and addressing the shortage of nursing care workers has become an urgent issue for the entire country. In addition, visit schedules created by manual often make visits inefficient, and the home health care industry (home nursing, nursing care, rehabilitation, home care clinics, etc.) is facing problems such as financial trouble and long working hours for employees. Due to the effects of the new coronavirus, there is an urgent need for non-contact as much as possible, and the creation of a system that allows DX and direct visit from home and return from work.

ZEST is a cloud service for improving management by optimizing visit schedules for home healthcare, and was launched in October 2019. It is not a simple automation of schedules and visiting routes, but rather an overall optimization technology (patented) that takes into account following all of the factors, “user’s requests” such as desired visiting time and gender preference of visiting staff, as well as “visitor’s circumstances” such as skills of medical staff and working hours of staff. The system can automatically create a visit schedule with one click, contributing to the optimization of transfer efficiency and increase in the number of visits.

3. Fuller (Season 3) formed a business and capital alliance with KDDI

The alliance is expanded beyond the business alliance to promote regional development that KDDI and Fuller entered into on January 7, 2021. KDDI has invested in Fuller through the “KDDI Regional Initiatives Fund No. 1,” which aims to invest in local companies and venture businesses that promote regional development.

Fuller’s strength lies in its ability to respond to a wide range of corporate issues in the digital domain in an integrated manner, from market analysis and digital business strategy formulation to product development and operation support, centered on its app analysis service “App Ape”. With this capital and business alliance, KDDI and Fuller will create synergies by combining KDDI’s advanced technologies such as 5G, IoT and AI, and venture network with Fuller’s strengths. (in Japanese)

4. Aquabit Spirals (Season 3) provides Tokyu Resorts & Stay with a user-initiated OMO solution that visualizes ski resort users’ request

More than 1,000 new touch points, or Smart Plate (devices with built-in battery-free NFC tags that directly deliver a variety of digital content by simply holding up a smartphone; can also be used with QR codes), have been installed at four ski resorts operated by Tokyu Resorts & Stay.

We also provided a “Smile Up Campaign” system that allows users to receive discount coupons for drinks and original stickers that can be used at various locations in the facility by simply holding up their smartphones and answering a few questions in a chat-style questionnaire. In addition, this system allows users to participate in a roulette challenge once a day to win lodging vouchers and other prizes at the company’s hotels by expressing their satisfaction with the facilities and requests for improvement through a simple button operation on their smartphones from smart plate located throughout the facilities after answering the questionnaires (after obtaining the prizes). (in Japanese)

5. Rakuten Eagles introduced “mocha” Mobile Battery Sharing Service provided by GREEN UTILITY (Season 12)

The Rakuten Baseball Team will introduce “mocha,” a mobile battery sharing service provided by GREEN UTILITY, to Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi from the 2021 season.

In addition to customizing the “mocha” rental stations and batteries with Rakuten Eagles designs, “mocha” rental stations will be set up in Sendai subway station with the full cooperation of the city of Sendai. By expanding the use of smart technology not only inside the stadium but also in the city of Sendai, we aim to further accelerate the development of smart stadiums and update the entire city of Sendai. (in Japanese)