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Top Funded Start-ups in Japan

Top Funded Start-ups in Japan

Over 3K+ Tech star-tups, including 300+ public ones, Japan is the epicentre of the East Asian star-tup ecosystem in the new world order of the millennium. With reaching next level tech developments, the most promising unicorns, soonicorns and minicors are making significant valuative milestones. 

Japans economy is the third largest in the world.  The gross domestic product (GPD) is 5.2 trillion (USD) or 788 trillion (JPY). This is a reflection upon the dominating service sector that the Japanese economy has. 68.7% of the gross domestic product (GPD) and employing 72% of their labour force. Currently United States and China is their biggest trading partners with the newly partnered United Kingdom at its tail.

Due to the large economy Japan is still a hot spot breeding ground for start-ups due to how much potential there is to grow there. According to Venture Enterprise Centre which studies start-up domestic capital investments in 2020 annual report shows the total of 153.8 billion (JPY). Domestic making up 107.4 billion (JPY) and overseas 46.3 billion (JPY).

The stimulation the investments produce in Japan fuel the start-up scene more than ever before. 

2020 Top 10 Start-ups List


  • Preferred Infrastructure; A natural language processing as a service. Founded in 2006 Tokyo, Japan. With investors Chungai Pharmaceutical, Fanuc, Toyota Motor and 3 others.

The search engine company specialise upon strong knowledge within machine learning, natural language processing and distributed system. The company’s products include NLP based search platform. Disclosed funding 125 million (USD) or 13 billion (JPY).


  • Tier IV; Software & system providers for developing autonomous vehicles. Founded in 2006, Nagoya, Japan. Investors include Sompo Holdings, Aisan Technology, University of Tokyo, Edge Capital and 6 other investors.

Tier IV provides software and system- related solutions for developing autonomous vehicles. The company provides total solutions to developing self-driving vehicles with help of its partners. Offers 3D printed EV platforms, autonomy development kits, sensors, software and associated services. Disclosed funding 230 million (USD) or 25 billion (JPY).

  • Astroscale; Provider of solutions for space debris removal. Founded in 2013, Sumida-ku, Japan. With investors UTokyo Inovation platform, Tokyo, Mamoru Taniya and 20 other investors.

Astroscale offers proprietary satellite solutions for space debris removal. It is developing ELSA-d, an end-to-end rendezvous solution which consists of two spacecraft; Servicer (~184 kg) and Client (~16 kg), to be launched stacked together. Disclosed funding 199 million (USD) or 21 billion (JPY).

  • Freee; Accounting & ERP management software for businesses. Founded in 2012, Tokyo, Japan. Investors include DCM Ventures, Mirai Creation Fund, Nippon Life Insurance and 12 other investors.

Freee provides cloud-based ERP management and accounting software for businesses. It features solutions for bookkeeping, payroll & labour management, financial reporting, taxation, billing & expense management, and inventory management. Disclosed funding 142 million (USD) or 15 billion (JPY).

  • Ispace; Developing micro- robots that locate the resources necessary to extend human life into outer space. Founded in 2010, Tokyo, Japan. Investors include Japan Airlines, Toppan, Space Frontier and 15 Other Investors.

The company focuses on locating, extracting, and delivering lunar ice to customers in cis-lunar space. It utilizes 3D printed and commercially off the shelf products (COTS) for rapid prototyping while maximizing structural mass efficiency and shortening the developmental life cycle. Disclosed funding 125 million (USD) or 13 billion (JPY).

  • Line Man; App- based platform for booking hyperlocal delivery services. Founded in 2008, Tokyo, Japan. Investors BRV Capital Management.

Lineman is an app-based platform for booking hyperlocal delivery services. It allows users to order, track and book on-demand deliveries of food, parcels, groceries, documents, store items, as well as taxi services. Disclosed funding 110 million (USD) or 12 billion (JPY).

  • JapanTaxi; App-based on-demand taxi-hailing service. Founded 1977, Tokyo, Japan. Investors include Mirai Creation Fund, Kakao Mobility.

JapanTaxi is an app-based on-demand ride-hailing service in Japan that connects passengers with taxi drivers around their location. Users need to set their pickup location and specify the type of vehicle they need, after which the platform connects them to a nearby available driver. Disclosed funding 87 million (USD) or 9 billion (JPY).

  • Kyash; Payment cards solution provider. Founded in 2015, Tokyo, Japan. With investors consisting of Greenspring Associates, Toppan, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital and 15 Other Investors.

Kyash provides virtual and prepaid cards for consumers. It offers Kyash Visa Card for making payments through mobile phones. It features notification for payment transactions and payment history. Disclosed funding 73 million (USD) or 7 billion (JPY).

  • Dicalet; Platform for cryptocurrency exchange and payments. Founded in 2018, Chiyoda-ku, Japan. Investors are Matsui Securities, KDDI and 9 Other Investors.

Dicalet provides a mobile application for users to make cryptocurrency exchange and payments. It offers fiat currency deposit, cryptocurrency exchange & trading, virtual currency money transfer. Disclosed funding, 57 million (USD) or 6 billion (JPY). 

  • GROOVE X; Develops social robot for consumers. Founded in 2015, Tokyo, Japan. Investors are AmTRAN, Shenzhen Capital Group, SMBC Venture Capital and 6 Other investors.

Groove-X has developed a social robot called LOVOT for consumers. Features include answering machine, baby monitoring, house patrolling and more. The robot has approximately 50 sensors on its body including a 360-degree camera, thermal vision, microphone, depth camera, distance & obstacle sensors and, retractable wheels for movement. Disclosed funding 51 million (USD) or 5 billion (JPY).

Sources- http://www.vec2.jp/2020/12/28/2020-3q-eng/