Google has made a Series C extension investment into Japanese AI and machine learning (ML) startup ABEJA, with the intention to drive AI solutions in the Japanese AI industry.
With Google's follow-on funding round – a Series C extension investment – the company has now accumulated total funding from investors of approximately $53m since its launch in 2012, although amount of Google's recent investment remains undisclosed.
ABEJA said that with the investment it would "continue to use AI/ML, and deep learning in particular, to promote business innovation in a variety of industries and settings in Japan and overseas, and contribute to the transformation of the industrial structure".
Shinichi Abe, managing director of Google Cloud Japan said: "This investment paves the way for collaboration with ABEJA in innovative solutions in the retail and manufacturing sector, as well as other verticals."
According to ABEJA, more than 150 companies have adopted its PaaS (platform-as-a-service) solution, which leverages AI and ML for a number of use cases such as data collection and annotation.
ABEJA Insight for Retail, a service within its platform, offers the retail industry a story analysis solution, which has attracted more than 100 corporate customers and is in use in more than 520 retail stores, primarily in Japan.
ABEJA representative director Yousuke Okada said: "Since our founding in 2012, we have been collaborating on AI business applications, and ML in particular, under our corporate philosophy "Implement a Fruitful World".
"Through our collaboration with Google, we will help to grow the AI market in Japan and drive further structural change across all industries."