Monthly Update, October 2020 (Tokyo)

1. Alpaca (Season 2) raises 10M USD Series A for its API-powered equity trading service

Alpaca, a startup that helps other companies add commission-free equities trading to their own products, announced a $10 million Series A. The new capital event was led by Portag3, and included prior investors Social Leverage, Spark Capital, Fathom Capital and Abstract Ventures.

https://techcrunch.com/2020/10/15/alpaca-raises-10m-series-a-for-its-api-powered-equities-trading-service/
https://alpaca.markets/

2. Amegumi (Season 9) provides Indian education institute, Super30 with Sunblaze smartphone to start PoC

Schools in India have been closed and online education has been in place during the lockdown that has lasted since the end of March this year. However, children without smartphones, tablets, laptops, or children who have not been able to borrow them from their parents, have been isolated from education for more than six months.

Amegumi’s vision is to “create a world where everyone on earth can live a minimum level of happiness,” and in order to change this situation, Amegumi has provided 2 teachers and 30 students to India’s legendary “Super30” as a tool for online education.

Since SUNBLAZE Phone is a smart phone without any entertainment elements, there is no risk of children playing games after providing it. Also, its longevity (more than 3 years) eliminates the need to replace it immediately, and its OS is set up in several Indian languages, so it can be trained for both English speakers and non-English speakers.

https://prtimes.jp/main/html/rd/p/000000023.000033101.html (in Japanese)
https://www.sunblaze.jp/

3. Liberaware (Season 10) launches new type IBIS, a small drone integrating ultra-sensitive camera

Liberaware, a developer of small drone, IBIS for indoor facility inspections, will release a new IBIS with an ultra-sensitive camera in October 2020. The clearer images of equipment in dark areas will greatly expand the scope of video analysis, such as 3D and point cloud analysis, which is one of the company’s specialties. The drone and video analysis technology will contribute to the promotion of digital transformation (DX) of facility maintenance operations for inspection of facilities such as boilers, tanks, and inside pipes, which are dangerous and costly for humans to enter.

https://prtimes.jp/main/html/rd/p/000000022.000031759.html (in Japanese)
http://liberaware.co.jp/

4. Aquabit Spirals (Season 3) provides Smart Plate, app and battery free NFC tag solution to PoC of MaaS for tourism in Nanyo

Aquabit Spirals will provide its flagship NFC tag solution “Smart Plate” and contactless mobile ticket “Sumaple ticket” for the “Nanyo MaaS for tourism Demonstration Experiment,” which KDDI is organizing, with the aim of promoting the sale, use, and utilization of the “Nanyo Digital Free Pass,” which allows people to use transportation in the Nanyo region at a discount.

https://www.jiji.com/jc/article?k=000000007.000012842&g=prt (in Japanese)
https://spirals.co.jp/en/