Entertainment Tech Startups Including AR and VR From Japan, U.S. and Switzerland Are First Recipients From Akatsuki Inc.’s $50 Million AET Fund
Los Angeles, CA [January 31, 2018] – The Akatsuki Entertainment Technology Fund (AET Fund) launched in October 2017 has announced its first round of investments in eight unique, cutting-edge entertainment tech startups from Japan, the U.S. and Switzerland, it was announced today by Akatsuki Inc. CFO and AET Fund Managing Director, Tomoya Ogawa.
The first entertainment-fueled startups to benefit from the initial tranche of the $50million investment fund launched by Akatsuki Inc, an ambitious mobile games company established in 2010, include HypeVR, FABLE STUDIO, Tyffon Inc., OCTI, RosieReality Inc., and ALE Co., Ltd.
Dedicated to supporting the exploration of technology within entertainment, the investments by the AET Fund represent a new surge of interest in various new entertainment technologies for Akatsuki Inc., including AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality). The fund is intended to inspire new technology and content from startups within the entertainment industries. According to leading statistics and market research company Statista, the AR and VR industries are growing rapidly, with revenue projected to increase from $3.7 billion in 2016 to more than $40 billion by 2020. The startups that are included in this investment round are helping to grow this industry through the use of innovative and disruptive technology.
“We are thrilled to invest the first funds in these incredible startups who are dedicated to harnessing new technology and focusing its use within the realm of AR and VR for entertainment and education. It’s the first of a number of investments we plan to make in 2018 in this exciting and thriving industry,” said Mr. Ogawa. “Together as a team we will continue to grow this industry beyond its boundaries and be an incubator for these groundbreaking, technology-infused companies who are the future leaders of innovation.”
Continuing to focus on companies developing innovative AR and VR, Akatsuki has partnered with a variety of startups that range from hardware technology to the software development of the entertainment experience platforms.
HypeVR, FABLE STUDIO, and Tyffon are VR related companies that offer unique experiences for the end user. HypeVR is a computer vision technology company specializing in developing ultra-high resolution, live action, 360-degree volumetric capture and playback with six degrees of freedom. FABLE STUDIO is a story-based content development studio that aims to create and nurture characters with style and approachability using Artificial Intelligence (AI). Tyffon Inc., is a provider of location-based VR experiences in Tokyo, creating and operating high quality content and experiences even beyond merely VR.
OCTI is an AR app that is creating 3D decorated videos using motion tracking algorithms and various effects from your body’s movements and shares them via social media.
Beyond the user-entertainment experience, Akatsuki also focuses on companies that broaden its coverage including education and learning, such as RosieReality Inc. The Switzerland-based company creates high-quality, innovative digital education tools that are both engaging and fun. They are the developer of Rosie, an AR educational app for STEM-related subjects, that allow children to program Rosie the Robot using magical 3D shapes to explore AR puzzles.
ALE Co., Ltd. is the world’s first artificial shooting star project aimed to bring people all around the world together to witness an unprecedented, collective experience. The Japanese startup creates artificial shooting stars on demand using micro-satellites encasing a secret chemical formula causing them to glow and create a display of shooting stars. The data collected via this project will be useful for predicting the path of satellites and artificial objects as they re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere. The potential application of this data is the safe disposal of space debris.
Investing between $100,000 and $1million on average in each company, AET Fund is working as a collaborator and mentor with these startups, lending its experience and expertise to help the companies grow into leaders of next generation technology. With further investments expected in 2018, AET Fund is additionally set to increase its overall investments by executing partnerships across the globe to search for progressive and innovative forms of technology in entertainment.
■About: AET Fund
AET Fund ( https://en.aktsk.jp/AETfund/ ) is a corporate global fund of Akatsuki Inc., established to unearth entertainment technology. AET Fund aims to create innovative experiences, fusing the digital and real-world domains, by investing in next generation technologies and services. The size of the fund is $50,000,000 and the fund focuses on investments in entertainment tech startups of seed or series A rounds.
■About: Akatsuki, Inc.
Akatsuki Inc. ( https://en.aktsk.jp/ ) headquartered in Tokyo with offices in Taiwan and Los Angeles, is the highly regarded entertainment company based in Japan. Incorporated in 2010, Akatsuki has achieved remarkable growth and went public in 2016 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. With a mission of driving innovation within the entertainment industry, Akatsuki is responsible for successful games played all over the world. Akatsuki’s core business focuses on the production of games for mobile phones and tablets. Akatsuki has expanded its service offerings to include the live experience business by providing an easy search and reservation platform for experience based entertainment such as outdoor tours or special events in Japan. The company is best known for co-developing one of 2017’s most successful mobile games “Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle,” published by BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment.