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Corporation
shogakukan.co.jp

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Investments

11

Partners & Customers

1

About Shogakukan

Shogakukan is a Japanese publisher of books and magazines.

Shogakukan Headquarter Location

2 Chome-3-1, Hitotsubashi Chiyoda-ku

Tokyo, 101-8001,

Japan

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Latest Shogakukan News

‘Virtual YouTuber’ startup Activ8 secures $9.3M series C funding for global expansion

Apr 2, 2020

Tokyo-based Activ8 (pronounced ‘activate’), the Japanese startup behind the Upd8 (pronounced ‘update’) ‘Virtual YouTuber’ supporting project, announced on Wednesday that it has raised about 1 billion yen (about $9.3 million US) in a series C round. Participating investors include leading manga publisher Shogakukan, design-related solutions provider Too, talent agency Horipro, and others. No details on financial terms have been disclosed. For Activ8, this follows their previous $5.4 million funding from Makers Fund and Gumi back in 2018. The startup was founded back in September of 2016, subsequently graduated from the 3rd batch of the Tokyo XR Startups accelerator back in December of 2018. They have been focused on supporting and nurturing ‘Virtual YouTubers’ through the Upd8 project since then. Notable ‘Virtual YouTubers’ belonging to the project include Kizuna Ai (Love-chan), Kashikomari, and Fukuya Master . Active8 says that they will use the funds to accelerate developing content business centered on developing a virtual reality (VR) live performance system in addition to global business expansion. Based on the partnership with Too, one of the investors participating in this round, the startup will offer systems and services for VR live performance as well as developing new products in collaboration with virtual talents. The new platform, tentatively named Spectacle, is still under development with an aim to offer next-gen VR content for multi-devices. Turning high-end graphics into VR live performance to be delivered via real-time streaming, it pursues offering users with the value experiencing music live performance with higher user experience even for VR users as well as YouTuber viewers. Below is an example created using the platform: Related news SHARE: Abridged from our original post on the Japanese edition. Tokyo-based VC firm Global Brain announced today that it has launched a new fund in partnership with Epson X (pronounced ‘cross’) Investment, EXI for short, the investment arm of Japanese electronics giant Seiko Epson (TSE:6724). EXI holds a 99% stake in the fund worth 5 billion yen ($46.5 million US). Epson Group unveiled a mid-range business plan towards their long-term corporate vision called Epson 25 last year, which addresses their open innovation strategy to leverage resources centered on the company’s flagship inkjet technology. The fund is a part of such efforts. In response to our question about what’s behind establishing the fund, Global Brain told us that Seiko Epson wants to push forward and accelerate their investment flows by separating business investment and corporate venture capital functions. Our readers may recall that Global Brain recently announced a new fund in partnership with Japanese logistics giant Yamato Holdings. Read More SHARE: Abridged from our original post on the Japanese edition. Tokyo-based VC firm Global Brain announced on Tuesday that it has formed a new fund together with Japanese logistics giant Yamato Holdings (TSE:9064). The fund is named Kuroneko Innovation Fund and worth 5 billion yen, or $46.5 million US. With an aim to promote digital transformation in the logistics industry, the fund is focused on investing in Japanese and foreign startups with technologies and business models evolving logistics and supply chain management. The fund’s ticket size is from 50 million yen to hundreds of million yen (from $460,000 to several million US dollars) while investees can also leverage resources owned by Yamato Holdings and its group companies. Yamato Holdings has partnered with C2C (consumer-to-comsumer) marketplace app Mercari as well as Japanese e-commerce platform Base, giving their sellers better user experience by integrating with logistics solutions. Yamato Holdings published a grand design calling for business structure reform earlier this year, suggesting that the fund is a part of such efforts. Read More SHARE: Singapore-based KK Fund, the VC firm backed by many Japanese companies and focused on investing in seed stage internet and mobile startups across Southeast Asia, is launching their first Meet Your Match Thailand ​session with the aim to help match investors with Thailand-based startups in light of the uncertain situation due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. In order to support the startup ecosystem, KK Fund claims it has signed up with more than 20 investors to participate in this initiative to connect Thai startups with potential investors. Participating investors include Vertex Ventures, Sumitomo Corporation, PTT, Denso, Krungsri Finnovate, Colopl Next, CyberAgent Capital, Monk’s Hill Ventures, Insignia Ventures Partners, Beacon Venture Capital, Sequoia Capital, and other outstanding Thai and Japanese firms. In the face of the global coronavirus pandemic, more than a few startup founders in the world are struggling with meeting up with potential founders because of urgent need of funding or further sustainable business development. As a reason why KK Fund decided to focus on helping Thai entrepreneurs rather than other startup ecosystem, the VC firm’s general partner Koichi Saito says he got inspired by the initiative which the Japanese trade and economy ministry recently rolled out in Bangkok…. Read More Singapore-based KK Fund , the VC firm backed by many Japanese companies and focused on investing in seed stage internet and mobile startups across Southeast Asia, is launching their first Meet Your Match Thailand ​session with the aim to help match investors with Thailand-based startups in light of the uncertain situation due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. In order to support the startup ecosystem, KK Fund claims it has signed up with more than 20 investors to participate in this initiative to connect Thai startups with potential investors. Participating investors include Vertex Ventures, Sumitomo Corporation, PTT, Denso, Krungsri Finnovate, Colopl Next, CyberAgent Capital, Monk’s Hill Ventures, Insignia Ventures Partners, Beacon Venture Capital, Sequoia Capital, and other outstanding Thai and Japanese firms. In the face of the global coronavirus pandemic, more than a few startup founders in the world are struggling with meeting up with potential founders because of urgent need of funding or further sustainable business development. As a reason why KK Fund decided to focus on helping Thai entrepreneurs rather than other startup ecosystem, the VC firm’s general partner Koichi Saito says he got inspired by the initiative which the Japanese trade and economy ministry recently rolled out in Bangkok. Saito has participated in several summits hosted by the ministry with an aim to connect the two countries in tech and startup field. If you run a startup in Thailand and want to grab this opportunity, simply submit you application through the Google form link by April 10 so that you can get in touch with potential investors who may be interested in your business or idea. Upon successful matching, an online session over Zoom will be arranged by the investor with the startup. In Japan, Moneyforward Synca , the Tokyo-based consultancy focused on helping startups raise investments or sell through an IPO or M&A deal, has launched a similar scheme with more than 20 local VC firms with an aim to prevent founders from stagnating fundraising. Related news SHARE: Tokyo- and Kuala Lumpur-based Grooves, the company best known for its engineer recruiting platform called Forkwell, announced today that it will hold a virtual hackathon focused on helping techpreneurs compete by using technologies in order to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic. Sponsored by Microsoft, AWS, the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation and other distinguishing tech companies, the two-week event will kick off on March 30th and allow participants to compete each other while receiving mentorship from top-level data scientists from the US, Canada, Croatia, Australia, and Malaysia. Malaysia has been experiencing the region’s first lockdown where local people are forced to find new ways of working because they have to stay and work at home. Starting his business in Tokyo, Grooves’ CEO Hiro Ikemi moved to Kuala Lumpur back in 2018 to bet on the potential of the emerging market. He says his company wants to help local community and entrepreneurs to fight off the hardship through the hackathon. Instead of other similar events, this hackathon asks participants to focus their competing ideas and projects only on two topics: Drug Discovery and Virus Combat. Thanks to Grooves’ effort and their sponsors’ contribution, top 3 places winners can receive cash prize with… Read More Tokyo- and Kuala Lumpur-based Grooves , the company best known for its engineer recruiting platform called Forkwell , announced today that it will hold a virtual hackathon focused on helping techpreneurs compete by using technologies in order to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic. Sponsored by Microsoft, AWS, the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation and other distinguishing tech companies, the two-week event will kick off on March 30th and allow participants to compete each other while receiving mentorship from top-level data scientists from the US, Canada, Croatia, Australia, and Malaysia. Malaysia has been experiencing the region’s first lockdown where local people are forced to find new ways of working because they have to stay and work at home. Starting his business in Tokyo, Grooves’ CEO Hiro Ikemi moved to Kuala Lumpur back in 2018 to bet on the potential of the emerging market. He says his company wants to help local community and entrepreneurs to fight off the hardship through the hackathon. Instead of other similar events, this hackathon asks participants to focus their competing ideas and projects only on two topics: Drug Discovery and Virus Combat. Thanks to Grooves’ effort and their sponsors’ contribution, top 3 places winners can receive cash prize with complimentary credits for cloud services. In 2019, Grooves announced $920,000 funding from Inspire PNB Partners, the joint venture between Japanese investment firm Inspire and Malaysia’s state-run firm Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB), managing a Sharia-compliant private equity fund called PNB-INSPiRE Ethical Fund 1. The firm got approval from Tokyo Labor Bureau to launch a recruiting agency business for so-called “highly-skilled professionals” from Korea and Taiwan. Related news SHARE: Bangkok-based Flare, offering an ad-wrapping service for car owners as well as mobility data management and analytics services, announced today that it has raised 150 million yen (about $1.4 million) in a series A round from Spiral Ventures Asia, Chiba Dojo, Sun Asterisk, and Voyage Ventures. Sun Asterisk (previously called Framgia at the time) follows their participation in a seed round funding back in 2018 while Voyage Ventures follows a series A round back in 2019. Flare was launched back in August of 2017 by Japanese serial entrepreneur Kazuki Kamiya who moved to Thailand in November of 2013. Prior to Flare, he established a Skype-based Thai language school in May of 2014 and subsequently engaged in managing crowdsourced translation / interpretation and business portal website. Following the Flare ad-wrapping service, his company launched Flare Analytics and Flare Dash last year. Flare Analytics is a device-free cloud based platform analyzing driving data which can be applied for fleet management and telematics insurance while Flash Dash visualizes driver behavior so that their operation management can easily understand where their employee drivers are running and working. Flare says the new fund will be used to invest in further developing the aforementioned three services… Read More

Shogakukan Investments

11 Investments

Shogakukan has made 11 investments. Their latest investment was in Catalyst Data Partners as part of their Corporate Minority on August 8, 2021.

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Shogakukan Investments Activity

investments chart

Date

Round

Company

Amount

New?

Co-Investors

Sources

8/5/2021

Corporate Minority

Catalyst Data Partners

Yes

1

6/14/2021

Corporate Minority

Plott

Yes

1

1/18/2021

Corporate Minority

MyAnimeList

$5.48M

Yes

1

12/24/2020

Corporate Minority

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$99M

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10

7/29/2020

Corporate Minority

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$99M

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10

Date

8/5/2021

6/14/2021

1/18/2021

12/24/2020

7/29/2020

Round

Corporate Minority

Corporate Minority

Corporate Minority

Corporate Minority

Corporate Minority

Company

Catalyst Data Partners

Plott

MyAnimeList

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Amount

$5.48M

$99M

$99M

New?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Subscribe to see more

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Co-Investors

Sources

1

1

1

10

10

Shogakukan Acquisitions

1 Acquisition

Shogakukan acquired 1 company. Their latest acquisition was MERY on August 03, 2017.

Date

Investment Stage

Companies

Valuation
Valuations are submitted by companies, mined from state filings or news, provided by VentureSource, or based on a comparables valuation model.

Total Funding

Note

Sources

8/3/2017

Corporate Majority

Corporate Majority

1

Date

8/3/2017

Investment Stage

Corporate Majority

Companies

Valuation

Total Funding

Note

Corporate Majority

Sources

1

Shogakukan Partners & Customers

1 Partners and customers

Shogakukan has 1 strategic partners and customers. Shogakukan recently partnered with DeNA on August 8, 2017.

Date

Type

Business Partner

Country

News Snippet

Sources

8/3/2017

Partner

DeNA

Japan

SHOGAKUKAN and DeNA Announce Establishment of Joint Venture in Digital Media

Now , SHOGAKUKAN Inc. and DeNA will establish a new joint venture to jointly operate a digital media business mainly focused on women 's fashion .

1

Date

8/3/2017

Type

Partner

Business Partner

DeNA

Country

Japan

News Snippet

SHOGAKUKAN and DeNA Announce Establishment of Joint Venture in Digital Media

Now , SHOGAKUKAN Inc. and DeNA will establish a new joint venture to jointly operate a digital media business mainly focused on women 's fashion .

Sources

1

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