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Corporation
BUSINESS PRODUCTS & SERVICES | Advertising, Marketing & PR
horipro.co.jp

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Investments

7

About HoriPro

HoriPro is focused on developing and managing talents, musicians, athletes, instructors, and video engineers; planning and producing music, movies, plays, entertainment, and lectures; planning, producing, selling, purchasing and handling copyright; operating theaters, concert halls, and sports facilities; managing and selling rights and licenses; and subrogating PR activities.

Headquarters Location

1-2-5, Shimo-Meguro, Meguro-ku

Tokyo, 153-8660,

Japan

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Latest HoriPro News

Japan’s FinTech unicorn Opn acquires US payments startup MerchantE

Nov 15, 2022

Image credit: Opn Tokyo-based payments startup Opn (formerly Omise, formerly Synqa) just announced that it has acquired acquired MerchaneE , the startup running the same business based out of Georgia, US. The deal is reportedly worth 50 billion yen (about $360 million). Nikkei says this is one of the largest acquisitions of a foreign company by a Japanese startup. While Opn has many clients in Japan and Southeast Asia, it aims to expand into the US and Europe with the acquisition. This will make Opn’s client base, including MerchantE, reach over 20,000 clients and help them hit over US$19 billion in total payment processing. Opn (formerly Omise, formerly Synqa) was founded in 2013 by CEO Jun Hasegawa and COO Ezra Don Harinsut. The company secured $120 million US in a Series C+ round in May, which made them become Japan’s 5th unicorn (excluding those which have already made exit). Their clients include Toyota Motor and Thai duty-free giant King Power. The company claims that it serves more than 7,000 merchants, mainly in Japan and Southeast Asia, including McDonald’s and Toyota Motor. Related news SHARE: Singapore-based AI Communis, the startup behind the platform integrating speech recognition and natural language processing technologies, announced on Monday that it has raised $1.3 million US in a seed round. Participating investors include UTokyo Innovation Platform (UTokyo IPC), DG Incubation, The Seed in addition to several unnamed angel investors. This follows their extended angel round back in April when The Seed previously invested in the company. The latest round brought their funding sum up to $2.1 million US. AI Communis was founded in April of 2020 by Nobuhiko Suzuki, who has been dealing with the business of translating, adding subtitles, and editing video clips. These multilingulization processes, especially needed for global marketing, had been handled manually for a long time, but the significantly improved accuracy of automation tools such as Amazon Transcribe, DeepL, Google Translate has recently made it possible to be mostly automated. The company launched a web app called Auris last year, which allows users to handle a series of tasks such as translation, subtitling, and video editing in a cloud environment. It currently supports 16 languages spoken across the Asian region, and has 87,000 users from 110 countries as of this month. Leveraging the app, the company… Read More SHARE: This guest post is authored by Mark Bivens. Mark is a Silicon Valley native and former entrepreneur, having started three companies before “turning to the dark side of VC.” He is a venture capitalist that travels between Paris and Tokyo (aka the RudeVC). He is the Managing Partner of Shizen Capital (formerly known as Tachi.ai Ventures) in Japan. You can read more on his blog at http://rude.vc or follow him @markbivens. The Japanese translation of this article is available here. I’ve been ruminating on how Web3 could potentially transform gig economy businesses — e.g. Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Upwork, Taskrabbit, Fiverr, etc. — and whether applying token economics to these activities would even make sense. Two encounters over the past week have persuaded me that a decentralized model could address some of the failings of these established platforms. The first encounter was with the founder of one of the world’s newest Web3 ride-hailing projects. The second was with a research paper entitled, “Expanding the Locus of Resistance: Understanding the Co-constitution of Control and Resistance in the Gig Economy,” published by Hatim Rahman, Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations at the Kellogg School of Management, and Wharton management professor Lindsey Cameron. Rahman… Read More This guest post is authored by Mark Bivens. Mark is a Silicon Valley nativeand former entrepreneur, having started three companies before “turningto the dark side of VC.” He is a venture capitalist that travels between Paris and Tokyo (aka the RudeVC). He is the Managing Partner of Shizen Capital (formerly known as Tachi.ai Ventures) in Japan. You can read more on his blog at http://rude.vc or follow him @markbivens . The Japanese translation of this article is available here . Image credit: RudeVC I’ve been ruminating on how Web3 could potentially transform gig economy businesses — e.g. Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Upwork, Taskrabbit, Fiverr, etc. — and whether applying token economics to these activities would even make sense. Two encounters over thepast week have persuaded me that a decentralized model could addresssome of the failings of these established platforms. The first encounter was with the founder of one of the world’s newest Web3 ride-hailing projects. The second was with a research paper entitled, “ Expanding the Locus of Resistance: Understanding the Co-constitution of Control and Resistance in the Gig Economy, ” published by Hatim Rahman, Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations at the Kellogg School of Management, and Wharton management professor Lindsey Cameron. Rahman and Cameronsuggest that the 5-star customer ratings system of these gig economyplatforms is broken. They argue that the disproportionate importanceof the customer review system subordinates gig workers to essentiallya ‘digital boss’, toward whom the workers have little recourse oncethe rating is finalized and published. The customers, in contrast, donot bear the consequences of negative reviews as acutely as theworkers do. As a result, gig workersdevise ways to resist such authority. Tactics can include: carefullyvetting a customer’s behavior and prior reviews before accepting thegig, offering discounts once the job is underway in order to elicit ahigh rating, or even canceling the job before completion in order toavoid a negative review. As currently structured,the Web2 ratings system abdicates power to people who do not possessa vested interest in the gig worker’s business. Improving alignment ofinterests between gig worker and customer strikes me as a way thatdecentralization can transform these platforms. Let’s focus on on-demandride hailing. It’s hard to argue that this concept is not innovative,yet businesses like Uber and Lyft have never reached sustainedprofitability. Partly this is due to regulatory capture, i.e. whenthe status of drivers was deemed to be that of employees rather thanindependent contractors, hence requiring the platform to providesubstantial benefits, the economics of the model broke down. Yetdespite the regulatory impositions, drivers still struggle to makeends meet, keeping all apps active in order to maximize their drivingthroughput and undermining any particular loyalty to a singleplatform. The thesis of thesedecentralized ride-hailing projects is essentially that tokeneconomics will repair the broken model. Although there still appearsto be some experimentation around the specific tokenomics among thesenew contenders, from what I can understand both drivers and riderswill earn platform-specific tokens as they use the service. Tokengrants could be structured to reward both frequency of usage andlongevity, thus fostering loyalty from both the drivers and theriders. If the right to drive for the platform is embedded in an NFT,say, then this right could be transferable and appreciate in valuejust as the taxi medallions used to do. Of course, the devil isin the details in the implementation of these models. However,decentralization brings a new dimension to the economic model of thebusiness, which could render it viable again. We’re at a moment whereWeb3 has somewhat fallen out of favor as the trendy new thing (albeitnot yet in Japan where we’re still catching up). In my experience,when the spotlight on a particular innovation shifts away, this isoften the best time for research and reflection on the transformativepotential of it. Related news SHARE: Japanese ClimateTech startup Asuene announced on Monday that it has established a subsidiary called Asuzero Singapore. The company will provide the Asuzero GHG (green house gas) emission management platform as well as one-stop service to companies in the region for their decarbonization effort. Asuzero was established in October 2019 by Kohei Nishiwada, who previously worked for Mitsui & Co. on renewable energy-related projects around the world. The company offers Asuene and Asuzero. Asuene offers clean power that enables 100% renewable energy, local production for local consumption, and cost reduction while Asuzero is a cloud service that visualizes CO₂ emissions and enables carbon offsets. To date, the company has secured approximately 2.9 billion yen (about $20 million US) in funding. Pavillion Capital under Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s state-run investment firm, and Axiom Asia, a private equity fund focused on the Asia-Pacific region, invested in the company in a Series B round this year. At the time of the funding, the company unveiled that it would start its Asian expansion. via PR Times Read More SHARE: Tokyo-based Meleap, the Japanese startup offering the Hado Augmented Reality-powered sports in 39 countries, announced on Monday that it has secured 510 million yen (about $3.5 million US) in the latest round. The round is led by Shanghai-based QC Investment with participation from Incubate Fund, Horipro Group Holdings, Kiraboshi Capital, CiP Fund (managed by Eltes, Tokyu Land Corporation, Kajima Corporation, and East Investment Capital GP), and Waki Planning. This follows an investment from Interwars last December. In November last year, the company concluded a business and capital alliance with Horipro to create the “Talent League” (teams comprising of TV personalities as players) while having secured funds from Incubate Fund several times in the past. The latest round brought the company’s funding sum up to 2.2 billion yen ($15 million US). They will use the funds to accelerate its global expansion, market the Talent League, and strengthen its recruitment efforts. Hiroshi Fukuda (current CEO of Meleap), previously of Recruit, and Hitoshi Araki (current CTO of Meleap), previously of Fujitsu, established Meleap in 2014. The company has developed AR games that allow players to perform moves similar to the Kamehameha and Hadouken waves we have seen in animation series, and has 109… Read More Image credit: Meleap Tokyo-based Meleap , the Japanese startup offering the Hado Augmented Reality-powered sports in 39 countries, announced on Monday that it has secured 510 million yen (about $3.5 million US) in the latest round. The round is led by Shanghai-based QC Investment with participation from Incubate Fund, Horipro Group Holdings, Kiraboshi Capital, CiP Fund (managed by Eltes, Tokyu Land Corporation, Kajima Corporation, and East Investment Capital GP), and Waki Planning. This follows an investment from Interwars last December. In November lastyear, the company concluded a business and capital alliance with Horipro to create the “Talent League” (teams comprising of TV personalities asplayers) while having secured funds from Incubate Fund several times in the past. The latest round brought the company’s funding sum up to 2.2 billion yen ($15 million US). They will use the funds to accelerate its global expansion, market the Talent League, and strengthen itsrecruitment efforts. Hiroshi Fukuda (current CEO of Meleap), previously of Recruit, and Hitoshi Araki (current CTO of Meleap), previously of Fujitsu, established Meleap in 2014. The company has developed AR games that allow players to perform moves similar to the Kamehameha and Hadouken waves we have seen in animation series, and has 109 directly managed and permanent franchise locations in 39 countries that embody these games as sports. The company has a cumulative total of 3.5 million players and more than 100 million households watching the game. In addition, the Talent League, launched in 2020, allows viewers to cheer on players through the Wow Live app. SHARE: Tokyo-based Frame00 (pronounced ‘frame double oh’), the Japanese startup behind a blockchain-based monetization service for OSS (Open Source Software) developers called Dev Protocol, announced on Wednesday, that it has secured 250 million yen (about $1.7 million US) in a pre-series A round. For the company, this follows their seed round in June of 2022 and brought their funding sum up to about 310 million yen (about $2.1 million). This round was led by former MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito-led web3 fund gmjp with participation from B Dash Ventures, SKY Perfect JSAT (TSE:9412), rikka, and 01Booster Capital. Mayumi Hara, CEO of Frame00, is expected to speak at the New Context Conference 2022 Fall to be organized by Digital Garage (TSE:4819) next month. Joi is the co-founder of Digital Garage. In aim to support the prosperity of OSS and the sustainability of community management, FRAME00 has been developing Dev, a protocol for sharing revenue with OSS developers. Dev tokens are redeemable for Ethereum tokens on crypto exchanges. Since its mainnet launch in 2020, the protocol has attracted new financial support for OSS developers around the world. They won the CJK (China, Japan, Korea) OSS Special Contribution Award at the North-East Asia… Read More

HoriPro Investments

7 Investments

HoriPro has made 7 investments. Their latest investment was in Meleap as part of their Unattributed VC on November 11, 2022.

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HoriPro Investments Activity

investments chart

Date

Round

Company

Amount

New?

Co-Investors

Sources

11/7/2022

Unattributed VC

Meleap

$3.48M

No

3

1/28/2022

Corporate Minority

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10

11/19/2021

Corporate Minority

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10

2/24/2021

Corporate Minority - II

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10

4/1/2020

Series C

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$99M

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10

Date

11/7/2022

1/28/2022

11/19/2021

2/24/2021

4/1/2020

Round

Unattributed VC

Corporate Minority

Corporate Minority

Corporate Minority - II

Series C

Company

Meleap

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Amount

$3.48M

$99M

New?

No

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Co-Investors

Sources

3

10

10

10

10

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