Japan

Investors Clara Brenner, Quin Garcia and Rachel Holt are coming to TC Sessions: Mobility 2021

The transportation industry is abuzz with upstarts, legacy automakers, suppliers and tech companies working on automated vehicle technology, digital platforms, electrification and robotics. Then there

SIP Global Partners announces first close of its $150M fund to bring U.S. startups into Japan

Japan is under discussed as an expansion target for American startups, but in the past few years it has become a top market for companies like Slack, Salesforce, Twitter and, more recently, Clubhouse.

Pegasus Tech Ventures and Japanet launch new $50M fund to bring global startups to Nagasaki

Pegasus Tech Ventures, a firm that helps corporations launch startup investment funds, announced a new partnership with Japanet today. Japanet, one of Japan’s largest television shopping compani

Scrum Ventures launches new program to connect startups with Japanese corporations

Headquartered in San Francisco and Tokyo, Scrum Ventures is known for its accelerator programs focused on sports, food and smart-city tech. Today it announced the launch of a new incubator program tha

From the ashes of nearly a billion dollars, Ample resurrects Better Place’s battery swapping business model

A little over 13 years ago, Shai Agassi, a promising software executive who was in line to succeed the chief executive at SAP, then one of the world’s mightiest software companies, left the comp

Geothermal startups get another boost from Chevron as the oil giant backs a geothermal project developer

The U.S.-based oil major Chevron is doubling down on its investment in geothermal power by investing in a Swedish developer of low-temperature geothermal and heat power projects called Baseload Capita

Satellite constellation operator Spire Global to go public via $1.6 billion SPAC

Monday brings with it not one, but two space SPACS — there’s Rocket Lab, and there’s Spire Global, a satellite operator that bills itself primarily as a SaaS company focused on deliv

Japan’s Uncovered Fund launches $15M fund to back early-stage startups in Africa

Uncovered Fund, a VC firm targeting early-stage startups in Africa, announced today that it has launched its $15 million fund, which is expected to close at the end of June this year. The Tokyo-based

Tokyo-based SODA, which runs Japan’s largest sneaker resell platform, lands $22 million led by SoftBank Ventures Asia

Tokyo-based SODA, which runs sneaker reselling platform SNKRDUNK, has raised a $22 million Series B led by SoftBank Ventures Asia. Investors also included basepartners, Colopl Next, THE GUILD and othe

App stores saw record 218 billion downloads in 2020, consumer spend of $143 billion

Mobile adoption continued to grow in 2020, in part due to the market forces of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to App Annie’s annual “State of Mobile” industry report, mobile app do

Deep Science: Using machine learning to study anatomy, weather and earthquakes

Research papers come out far too rapidly for anyone to read them all, especially in the field of machine learning, which now affects (and produces papers in) practically every industry and company. Th

Known for 5G mmWave testing solutions, Taiwan’s TMYTEK sets its sights on base stations

TMYTEK recently raised a Series A+ round of about $10 million for products that make it easier to test 5G millimeter wave equipment. So far, the company’s clients include KDDI, SoftBank, Fujitsu and

New York licenses GMO Internet to issue the first JPY-pegged stablecoin

The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has approved Tokyo-based GMO Internet to launch GYEN, the first stablecoin pegged to the Japanese yen. GMO Internet, an internet conglomerate that

SoftBank will reportedly file for a SPAC on Monday

SoftBank Investment Advisers may file as early as Monday to raise between $500 million and $600 million through an initial public offering of its first special purpose acquisition vehicle, reports Axi

App stores to see 130 billion downloads in 2020 and record consumer spend of $112 billion

Consumers will have downloaded 130 billion apps in 2020 across iOS and Google Play, up 10% year-over-year, according to mobile data and analytics firm App Annie’s year-end forecast. Consumer spe

Agricultural biotech startup Boost Biomes adds a strategic investor in Japan’s Universal Materials Incubator

Boost Biomes, the Y Combinator-backed developer of microbiome-based bio-fungicides and bio-pesticides for agricultural applications, has added $2 million in funding and picked up a new strategic inves

NASA selects four companies for moon material collection as it seeks to set precedent on private sector outer space mining

NASA has selected the winning candidates that they’ve decided to tap to collect lunar resources for eventual Earth return. The four companies all have rides booked on future commercial lunar lan

ORIX invests $60M in Israeli crowdfunding platform OurCrowd

Japan-based financial services group ORIX Corporation today announced that it has made a $60 million strategic investment into the Israeli crowdsourcing platform OurCrowd. In return, the crowdfunding

Pfizer and BioNTech to submit request for emergency use approval of their COVID-19 vaccine today

Two of the companies behind one of the leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates will seek approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization (EUA) of their preventative tre

Twitter rolls out Stories, aka ‘Fleets,’ to all users; will also test a Clubhouse rival

Twitter this morning is launching its own version of Stories — aka “Fleets” — to its global user base. The product, which allows users to post ephemeral content that disappears
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