OpenAI opens Tokyo hub, adds GPT-4 model optimized for Japanese

OpenAI is expanding to Japan, with the opening of a new Tokyo office and plans for a GPT-4 model optimized specifically for the Japanese language. The move is significant for a few reasons. It undersc

Mark Zuckerberg woos Big Tech in Asia to double down on AI chips

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who is touring Asian countries this week, said in a meeting with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Thursday that Meta wants to beef up its cooperation with Samsung Elec

Stock trading API developer Alpaca raises $15M convertible note from SBI Group 

Investing apps help anyone access the stock market to make trades. Alpaca, a San Mateo-based startup, offers stock and crypto brokerage trading services via API that enables investing fintech companie

Japanese VC Beyond Next Ventures raises $67.7M in a first close of its deep tech fund

A Japanese fund focused on early-stage, Asian deep tech startups is doubling down on the opportunity, despite a wider slowdown investing in moonshots globally. Tokyo-based Beyond Next Ventures is targ

Josys, a SaaS management platform, raises $93M 

Josys, a startup offering a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform to automate corporate IT software application management, has raised a $93 million Series B round led by existing backer Global Brain

Robot software firm Mujin raises $85M

An increasing number of companies are looking to automate as a shortage of skilled workers is expected to take a toll on manufacturers through 2030.  Tokyo- and Atlanta-based startup Mujin, which d

Google’s AI-powered search expands outside US to India and Japan

Google is bringing its generative AI search experience to the first countries outside the U.S., the company announced today, starting with expansions in India and Japan. The new AI-powered search feat

SoftBank backs Japanese robotics startup Telexistence in $170M funding round

SoftBank is backing Japanese robotics startup Telexistence, making good on the tech giant’s recent pledge to go back on the investment offensive in light of the current AI hype. Tokyo-based Tel

CADDi raises $89M Series C to scale its B2B supply chain marketplace for manufacturing parts 

The pandemic has damaged the entire manufacturing supply chain, which is not likely to return to normal until at least 2024 due to a few challenges, including the ongoing U.S.-China tech battle. Accor

6 investors explain why they are bullish about Japan’s startup scene despite an uncertain economy

Thinking of Japan often evokes notions of bleeding-edge tech mixed with deep tradition and culture. The country’s startups, however, haven’t seen the sort of growth that upstart tech companies in

Micron to invest $3.6B in Japan for next-gen memory chips

Micron Technology said it will invest up to 500 billion yen ($3.6 billion) in Japan for the next few years with support from the Japanese government to up its game in next-generation memory chips. 

Japanese construction tech Aldagram nails down backing from Panasonic

Aldagram, a startup out of Japan developing project management software for construction companies, has picked up a new strategic backer to help it build out its footprint across Asia and the Middle E

Luup raises $30M ahead of Japan’s new micromobility rules

Japanese shared micromobility startup Luup has raised $30 million (4.5 billion yen) in a Series D financing round, which consists of 3.8 billion yen in equity and 700 million yen in debt. Luup has now

As tech slumps, SoftBank sells VC unit to Singapore-based firm led by Masayoshi Son’s brother

SoftBank is selling one of its venture capital arms, South Korea-based SoftBank Ventures Asia (SBVA), to The Edgeof, a Singaporean investment firm, according to the two companies.   The deal’s

China probes Micron for cybersecurity risks, urges Japan to stay out of US chip export curbs 

The U.S. and China chip battle continues to escalate. In China, the country’s cybersecurity watchdog has initiated a probe into U.S. memory chip maker Micron Technology, according to a statement

LexxPluss expands into US with its warehouse robots

When Masaya Aso worked on autonomous driving technology at Bosch in Japan and Germany, he realized that “many tasks were still manual as over 85% of warehouses have almost no automation at all.&

Japan’s Geniee acquires AdPushup-operator Zelto for $70 million

Japanese marketing tech firm Geniee, part of the SoftBank Group, has paid about $70 million in cash to acquire the revenue optimization platform Zelto (formerly known as AdPushup), a person familiar w

Japan’s central bank to pilot digital currency starting in April

Japan is joining a growing list of countries exploring the possibility of adopting a digital currency, with the country’s central bank, the Bank of Japan (BoJ), announcing that it would launch a

SoftBank joins game-focused blockchain Oasys as validator

As many observers question what real value blockchain can bring to video games, a conglomerate is vouching for the space. SoftBank Corp., the telecom operator arm of SoftBank Group, has joined Oasys,

Binance acquires majority stake in Korean crypto exchange GOPAX

Binance Holdings plans to return to South Korea after pulling out of the market in 2021. The world’s largest cryptocurrency trading platform by volume said it had acquired a majority stake in S
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