Japan

Mobike lands investment from Line to grow its bike-sharing service in Japan

Dock-less bike rental company Mobike is teaming up with messaging app firm Line to boost its presence in Japan. Line, which is Japan’s most popular messaging app with 71 million users in the cou

ispace just raised $90 million to launch two private moon missions by 2020

Japanese company ispace has raised $90.2 million in a Series A funding round, an amount it’s calling the “largest ever” Series A in commercial space financing. The funding comes from

Honda is working with Chinese AI unicorn SenseTime on self-driving car tech

Honda is putting the focus on artificial intelligence after it announced a partnership with SenseTime, a Chinese startup valued at over $1 billion, that will power its autonomous cars of the future. S

Japanese bitcoin exchange bitFlyer is coming to the US

Japanese cryptocurrency exchange bitFlyer announced today it’s expanding to the U.S., with approval to operate in 42 states starting today. This includes regulatory approval in New York via the

Japanese pawn shop app Cash acquired for $62.2M by DMM

DMM, one of Japan’s largest Internet and e-commerce conglomerates, announced today that it will pay 7 billion yen (about $62.2 million) for pawn shop app Cash. Launched this summer, Cash’s softwar

Amazon launches its Echo devices and Alexa in Japan

Amazon has continued its hardware push into Asia after it launched the Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot in Japan today. Alongside the hardware, it is also making its Alexa voice assistant available in th

The new Japan Taxi from Toyota wants to be an international icon

Japan’s getting an iconic new taxi courtesy of Toyota . The new, aptly named ‘Japan Taxi’ (or Jpn Taxi for conveniently fitting on a rooftop sign) is already on roads, and bears a slight resembl

Amazon brings Echo and Alexa to India and soon Japan, its first markets in Asia

As the Echo and Alexa from Amazon continue to set the pace for what to expect from voice-based interfaces and home hubs, Amazon is expanding them to Asia for the first time today. Today, the e-commerc

AdAsia snags another $2.5M led by listed Japanese newsreader firm Gunosy

Japanese news app Gunosy, which listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange two years ago, has put its weight and money behind ambitious ad tech startup AdAsia. Singapore-based AdAsia, founded in April 2016

India’s OYO snags $10M strategic investment from hotel giant China Lodging

Indian budget hotel startup OYO pulled in a big $250 million round led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund last week, but now it has topped that money up with a $10 million strategic investment from multi

Japanese startup plans one-stop ICO platform fueled by VC investment and an ICO

China banned ICOs this week and it is investigating platforms that facilitate them. Over in nearby Japan, one company is hatching an ambitious plan to offer a one-stop-service to let companies across

Budget hotel network pioneer OYO raises $250M led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund

India-based OYO, a startup that pioneered and popularized the concept of budget hotel networks, has closed $250 million in new funding led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund. The startup was founded in 2

Business messaging service Eko picks up $2M to fuel push into Japan, US and UK

Eko Communications, a U.S.-Thailand company that operates a messaging app targeted at businesses, has closed a strategic investment of $2 million to grow in Japan and expand into Europe and the U.S..

SoftBank partners with China’s Ofo to bring its dock-less bikes to Japan

A month after committing to help WeWork enter Japan, SoftBank is lending a hand to another global unicorn with its sights set on the country. Today, it announced a tie-in that will bring Ofo’s d

A running list of every company backed by the $93B SoftBank Vision Fund

When SoftBank announced the first close of its $93 billion Vision Fund back in May, it was hard to understand how the company would even manage to deploy so much capital in an already saturated ecosys

WeWork will launch in Japan with the help of SoftBank

WeWork is gearing up to launch its co-working spaces in Japan, thanks to a joint venture with SoftBank, SoftBank said today. As part of the arrangement, SoftBank and WeWork will each own 50 percent of

How two countries helped drive the recent rise in cryptocurrency prices

The acceptance of virtual currencies by both the Chinese and Japanese governments are driving cryptocurrency growth, with China on the cusp of establishing its own currency, and Japan regulating bitco

There’s a war brewing in Japan, and the banks should pay attention

People often use the term “time machine model” in Japan. It refers to the lag with Silicon Valley when it comes to startups and innovation. When a time machine model gains momentum locally, usuall

Mercari hires John Lagerling from Facebook’s management team to guide its U.S. strategy

When Mercari became Japan’s first startup unicorn with a $75 million round last year, the funding was earmarked to fuel its goal of becoming the top secondhand marketplace app in the U.S. Now Mercar

500 Startups closes $35M Japan fund with the backing of the Japanese government

500 Startups has announced the close of its fund for Japan, more than 18 months after it was first unveiled. The effort is backed by the Japanese government, which has chipped in as an LP via its Cool
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