Google investment aims to advance Japanese AI market

ABEJA has received an undisclosed Series C extension investment from Google, bringing the total funding pool of the company to $53m within six years of launch


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."

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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."

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