The web magazine that introduces and supports Japanese startups

[3/18-3/24] Featured startup news and funding information


Among the startup news and funding information announced from March 18, 2023 to March 24, 2023, we will pick up and deliver the projects that JP Startups (Japasta) is paying attention to.

Editor's Comments

A somewhat subdued week of funding news overall. On the other hand, Zeroboard, which is also the interviewee, has news of a large-scale Series A funding of 2.5 billion yen considering the recent market conditions. The webinar held on March 28 also covered sustainability, and this area will still be hot in 2023.

In addition, we picked up drug discovery startup Curio, which has high expectations from the investment side members, and Sorajima, a vertical scrolling manga (webtoon) production studio.

In ecosystem-related news, we covered the establishment of Oisix's second fund, which also produced Base Food. If you are aiming for a food startup, please go and consult.

Webinar announcement

JP Startups also conducts webinars that explain hot startups as hot keywords. The first session will be held on March 28, 2018, “Daily and Consumption Behavior Considered by the Younger Generation Challenging Sustainable Business.” Viewing is free. Please take a look.

Startup News

Establishment of Future Food Fund No. 2 Fund, a food-focused CVC from Japan operated by Oisix Ra Daichi (announced on March 23, 2023)

Credit:Company Press Release

Future Food Fund Co., Ltd., an investment subsidiary operated by Oisix Ra Daichi Co., Ltd., which provides a food subscription service, is a CVC fund specializing in the food innovation field. “Future Food Fund No. 2 Investment Business Limited Liability Partnership” (hereinafter referred to as FFF No. 2 Fund) was announced.

Future Food Fund Co., Ltd. is a Japanese food sector established by Oisix Ra Daichi Co., Ltd., which operates the EC site "Oisix" that sells ingredients such as organic and specially cultivated vegetables and additive-free processed foods. Specialized CVC. The “Future Food Fund No. 1 Investment Project”, which was formed in 2019, has raised 2 billion yen from 14 business companies and invested in a total of 19 startups (including 5 overseas companies). Base Food Co., Ltd., an investee company, was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Growth Market in November 2022, about three years after the investment.

The FFF No. 2 Fund will be formed in January 2023, aiming for a total fund of 7 billion yen by December 2023 closing. Since the first fund, which was completed in 2020, we have continued to invest in various startups in the food sector in Japan and overseas. By providing execution support, we aim to build an ecosystem and grow the technologies and services of startups faster. Here is the original release.

Funding Information

[Series A] Curaio, Inc., a cryo-electron microscope structural analysis company, raises 260 million yen (announced on March 22, 2023)

Credit:Company Press Release

Curio Co., Ltd., which develops drug discovery business based on structural analysis by cryo-electron microscopy, is part of Beyond Next Ventures No. 2 Investment Business Limited Liability Partnership, T&D Innovation Investment Business Limited Liability Partnership, Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation, 3S Capital Co., Ltd. UT Founders' Association Investment Business Limited Liability Partnership, IKERUNippon Capital Partners Co., Ltd., DOJIN CAPITAL Co., Ltd., Ono Venture Investment, Inc., Osamu Nureki, and one angel investor (name not disclosed), totaling about 2.6 Raised 100 million yen in funds. The series A round totaled 570 million yen.

The company was established in August 2019, and is developing its own drug discovery business and drug discovery support business under the company philosophy of "realizing a safer and healthier life." Unlike conventional X-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy is used for structural analysis of drug discovery target proteins using full-length proteins, and structures of complexes with ligands that serve as seeds for drugs that target them. analysis can be performed. In addition, since single particle analysis does not require crystallization of the sample, structural analysis that reflects the in vivo conditions of the protein to be measured and its complex with its ligand is possible.

Through this funding, we aim to accelerate and expand our main pipeline in our drug discovery business, and to develop basic technology for further effective use of cryo-electron microscope structural analysis technology for drug discovery. The company plans to increase development costs, make capital investments, and strengthen its structure. Here is the original release.

[Series A] Zeroboard, which provides a cloud service for calculating CO2 emissions, has completed a total of approximately 2.5 billion yen in funding (announced on March 24, 2023)

Credit:Company Press Release

Solutions that support calculation, disclosure, and reduction of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions "zeroboard" Zero Board Co., Ltd., which provides As a result, the company announced that it has completed additional financing for a total of about 2.5 billion yen in series A. The cumulative procurement amount in the 1 year and 6 months since the company was established is approximately 2.8 billion yen.

The company was established in August 2021. With the vision of "becoming a global decarbonization management partner", we operate "zeroboard", a service that can calculate and visualize GHG emissions in the cloud. This service calculates and visualizes domestic and overseas supply chain emissions, emissions by product and service (carbon footprint), contribution to reduction, water resources, etc. in the cloud, and also supports output of various reports. . Using calculations as a starting point, we support decarbonized management of companies by providing GHG reduction solutions that meet the challenges of user companies. In addition, as a product with industry-specific functions based on "zeroboard", "zeroboard construction", for the logistics industry "zeroboard logistics" has been developed and started to be provided.

Decarbonization Support Organization Co., Ltd., which was newly welcomed as a shareholder this time, is a public-private fund established in October 2022, and will be the company's first investment after its establishment. The funds raised through Series A will be used to accelerate the development of "zeroboard" functions, strengthen the recruitment of specialists such as customer success, and expand overseas with the aim of becoming a global platform. Here is the original release.

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[Series B] Sorajima Co., Ltd., which operates the original webtoon production studio “SORAJIMA”, has raised a total of approximately 1 billion yen (announced on March 22, 2023)

Credit:Company Press Release

Original webtoon production studio "SORAJIMA" with Z Venture Capital as the lead investor, Nissay Capital, DBJ Capital, KDDI Open Innovation Fund No. 3, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, SMBC Venture Capital, Sumisho Venture Partners, Mizuho Capital, Dentsu Ventures, Hakuhodo DY Ventures and IZUMO Founder Shunsuke Oyu were the underwriters, and a total of approximately 1 billion yen was raised.

The company was established in February 2019 with the mission of "creating content that represents this century", and has produced and distributed numerous original works in the globally expanding Webtoon (vertical scrolling manga) market. Currently, Webtoon's readership is expanding on a global scale, and in 2023, we aim to have the number of annual releases on par with the top studios in South Korea, the home of Webtoon.

The funds raised this time will be used to improve the creative environment for creators, increase the number of creations, and take on the challenge of global expansion through the manga app "cosmic (formerly known as SORACOMI)" that is developed and operated. Here is the original release.