Category Archives: Japan

Startups Weekly: Will the Seattle tech scene ever reach its full potential?

Greetings from Seattle, the land of Amazon, Microsoft, two of the world’s richest men and some startups. I’m always surprised the Seattle startup ecosystem hasn’t grown to compete with the likes of Silicon Valley — or at least Boston and New York City — since the dot-com boom. Today, it’s the strongest it’s has been due to the successes of companies like the newly minted unicorn Outreach, trucking business Convoy and, of course, the dog walking startup Rover. But the city still lags behind, failing to adopt […]

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Grocery delivery startup Honestbee is running out of money and trying to sell

Honestbee, the online grocery delivery service in Asia, is nearly out of money and trying to offload its business. The company has held early conversations with a number of suitors in Asia, including ride-hailing giants Grab and Go-Jek, over the potential acquisition of part, or all, of its business, according to two industry sources with knowledge of the talks. Founded in 2015, Honestbee works with supermarkets and retailers to deliver goods to customers using its store pickers, delivery fleet and mobile apps. The company is based in […]

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India’s Mfine raises $17.2M for its digital healthcare service

Mfine, an India-based startup aiming to broaden access to doctors and healthcare by using the internet, has pulled in a $17.2 million Series B funding round for growth. The company is led by four co-founders from Myntra, the fashion commerce startup acquired by Flipkart in 2014. They include CEO Prasad Kompalli and Ashutosh Lawania who started the business in 2017 and were later joined by Ajit Narayanan and Arjun Choudhary, Myntra’s former CTO and head of growth, respectively. The round is led by Japan’s SBI Investment with […]

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Snap is channeling Asia’s messaging giants with its move into gaming

Snap is taking a leaf out of the Asian messaging app playbook as its social messaging service enters a new era. The company unveiled a series of new strategies that are aimed at breathing fresh life into the service that has been ruthlessly cloned by Facebook across Instagram, WhatsApp and even its primary social network. The result? Snap has consistently lost users since going public in 2017. It managed to stop the rot with a flat Q4, but resting on its laurels isn’t going to bring back […]

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India’s OYO enters Japan in partnership with SoftBank

Fresh from closing a notable investment from Airbnb, India’s OYO has expanded its footprint into Japan. The move comes through a joint venture with investor SoftBank — which led OYO’s $1 billion round last year through its Vision Fund — which will cover hotel-based accommodation and home rentals. Financial details around the joint venture were not disclosed. An OYO representative declined to go into details when asked. OYO started in India, where it initially aggregated budget hotels; it has since expanded into China, Malaysia, Nepal, the U.K., […]

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Lidar and perception startup Innoviz raises $132 million

Innoviz, the Israel-based startup developing solid-state lidar sensors and perception software for autonomous vehicles, has raised $132 million in a Series C funding round that includes major Chinese financial institutions. The round, which makes Innoviz one of the better capitalized lidar startups, includes China Merchants Capital (SINO-BLR Industrial Investment Fund, L.P.), Shenzhen Capital Group and New Alliance Capital. Israeli institutional investors Harel Insurance Investments and Financial Services and Phoenix Insurance Company also participated.  The Series C round will remain open for a second closing to be announced in […]

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Japan is cracking down on SoftBank’s revenue

First, a couple of quick follow-ups to our coverage of Form Ds yesterday, and then a deeper dive into the challenges SoftBank is facing with regards to its revenue in Japan. Finally, some notes on recent articles we have read. We are experimenting with new content forms at TechCrunch. This is a rough draft of something new – provide your feedback directly to the authors: Danny at danny@techcrunch.com or Arman at Arman.Tabatabai@techcrunch.com if you like or hate something here. Form D(isappearing) Form Ds are (usually) filed by […]

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Watch this humanoid robot install drywall

The HRP-5P is a humanoid robot from Japan’s Advanced Industrial Science and Technology institute that can perform common construction tasks including — as we see above — install drywall. HRP-5P — maybe we can call it Herb? — uses environmental measurement, object detection and motion planning to perform various tasks. In this video we see it use small hooks to grab the wallboard and slide it off onto the floor. Then, with a bit of maneuvering, it’s able to place the board against the joists and drill […]

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Japanese startup Paidy raises $55M Series C to let people shop online without a credit card

Paidy, a fintech startup that enables Japanese consumers to shop online without using a credit card, announced today that it has raised a $55 million Series C. The round was led by Japanese trade conglomerate Itochu Corporation, with participation from Goldman Sachs. The Tokyo-based startup says this brings its total funding so far to $80 million, including a $15 million Series B announced two years ago. One notable fact about Paidy’s funding is that it’s raised a sizable amount for Japanese startup, especially one with non-Japanese founders […]

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