(The Bridge) – Infinity Venture Partners, a Tokyo-based global investment fund, organized its semi-annual startup showcasing event in Kyoto earlier this month, where 14 startups exhibited their products to investors and entrepreneurs. Hokkaido-based Agri Info Design won the top prize with their mobile app solution called AgriBus-Navi.
Here’s a quick rundown of the top five winners and finalists.
1st prize winner: AgriBus-NAVI (by Agri Info Design)
AgriBus-NAVI is a mobile app for installation on farm machinery like tractors, crop harvesters, and self-propelled sprayers for checkrow planting..
One of the utmost difficulties in farm work is confirmation as to agrochemical spraying having been performed properly because rough chemical spraying causes fertilizers to be wasted. This mobile app replaces conventional GPS-based systems that have been used to solve such issues.
2nd prize winner: Nutte (by State of Mind)
Nutte is a crowdsourced platform of seamstresses, receiving orders for all manufacturing processes for creation of clothing, from design to sewing. Differentiating from similar Japanese services like Sitateru, Nutte allows users to order their originally designed clothing or items using an image sketch.
3rd prize winner: CloudSign (by Bengo4.com)
Bengo4.com, the company behind Japan’s foremost legal portal under the same name, was listed on the TSE Mothers Market in December 2014. The company recently launched an online contract signing platform called CloudSign.
Using the CloudSign platform, a sender of a contract is requested to upload an agreement form in PDF format designating which part of the form should be filled by a recipient. Then the recipient will receive an e-mail containing a unique URL to browse the form. As the recipient signs the form with a digital signature, the finalized version of the form will be shared on both sides by each other via the platform.
4th prize winner: Anyca (by Anyca)
Anyca is a car-sharing platform for individuals. When a user books a car registered on the platform, the owner of the car will be requested to approve the use. Upon the approval, both parties can arrange a delivery place of the car each other. The user will be requested to return the car to the owner after the use. Allowing users to apply for a car insurance by the day, the service is aimed to secure both easiness and safety. The service is a provided by a group company of DeNA (TSE:2432), a Japanese leading mobile gaming company.
5th prize winner: Repro (by Repro)
Repro is a startup behind a mobile app analysis and marketing tool, having won pitch competitions at startup events like our Mixer Tokyo and B Dash Camp.
In addition to quantitative analysis, this tool provides mobile developers with qualitative analysis visualizing user behaviors on screen by using movies. It also allows the developers to send push notifications or in-app messages to their users.
Adopted by and implemented into 1,025 apps from 17 countries worldwide, paying mobile developers comprise 5.6% in the entire user base of the analysis platform. The company fundraised 1 million yen (about $820,000) from DG Incubation and other companies in April.
Below are the startups selected as finalists.
Wizpra NPS (by Wizpra)
Founded in March 2013, Wizpra has been providing a user experience management platform called Wizpra NPS and an employee experience management (EEM) platform called Wizpra Card. Wizpra NPS has been adopted by more than 1,000 retailers in Japan including fitness gyms in the six months since launch.
The company fundraised a total of 230 million yen (about $1.9 million) from Gree Ventures, Mobile Internet Capital, SMBC Venture Capital and Mizuho Capital in January.
LiveConnect (by Z-Works)
Z-Works has developed a home gateway device, a cloud platform and mobile app leveraging sensors corresponding to the Z-wave standard, a wireless communication specification for home automation. Amongst their products, LiveConnect is an IoT (Internet of Things) service for home security.
Aiming to support care for the elderly, for instance, their smart lock solution allows caregivers to lock a room using a mobile app and a motion sensor by detecting the sign of wandering behaviors of their charges.
Medicine Delivery (by Minacolor)
Minacolor has been offering advice on medicines and treatments by pharmacists online. The company started an on-demand medicine delivery service in November of 2013.
Using the service, a pharmacist from the company will choose an appropriate medicine according to one’s symptom and their deliverer will bring it to the door of one’s home within the shortest delivery time of 30 minutes after receiving the order. The service is currently available in the central district of Tokyo, or the southern part of the area surrounded by Yamanote Loop Line.
Users will need to place an order using a mobile app so that it will record their order history upon considering multiple drug intake or future ordering convenience. The company takes about 5,000 yen (or about $41) on average from each order with an average profitability of 10%, aiming to crowdsource jobs to 80,000 qualified pharmacists who want to work at home.
Popcorn (by Coubic)
Coubic is, a startup known for a freemium scheduling and appointment booking solution under the same name. The company provides a mobile app offering special deals on last-minute bookings for beauty and massage salons, called Popcorn. Available only for booking up to 15 minutes prior to receiving, the app adopts advance payment to reduce the risk of cancellation for salon owners. These salon owners can use the Coubic platform to better manage customers.
Spectee (by Spectee)
Spectee shows users critical incidents and events happening now in an easier manner by curating updates from social media and sorts them based on geotags or keywords contained in every tweet or message post. About 60 locations across Japan are set in the app where users can see what is happening in real time in every location.
Spectee shows users critical incidents and events happening now in an easier manner by curating updates from social media and sorts them based on geotags or keywords contained in every tweet or message post. About 60 locations across Japan are set in the app where users can see what is happening realtime at every location.
Fitty (by Scala International)
Fitty is a mobile app that helps women find the proper fit for lingerie pieces. By entering several selections like bra size or body shape into the app, it will suggest users the best-fit selection of bras. In order to enable presentation of best suggestions to users, the company has been collecting up-to-date product profiles from fashion retailers and manufacturers to incorporate them into the app.
As an extension of the recommendation result, the app will give users a link so that they can purchase bra items online. The company is considering launch of a business which provides statistical data of bra wearers to lingerie manufacturers.
Partee (by g&h)
Partee is a mobile app that allows users to create a T-shirt or smartphone cases using their favorite pictures. Users can also create it using pictures uploaded by not only them but also their friends. When one’s picture is used by other users, some revenue will be shared with the owner of the picture.
Monomy (by Fun Up)
Monomy is an iOS app that offers an online marketplace for creatives, allowing people to make accessories they like with ease using smartphones. The platform was launched in August by Fun Up, the Tokyo-based company which has been running several online services since 2011.
The difference between trendy marketplaces for handmade goods and Monomy is that users only need to design the accessories they want. What happens is that Monomy takes care of the whole process from receiving orders through production in their own workshop. They can take large orders such as orders for 1,000 items and make them all in their workshop, with the accessories being made by experienced craftspeople by hand.
LaFabric (by LifeStyle Design)
LaFabric is a made-to-order fashion e-commerce site. Since its launch back in February of 2014, starting with custom-made business suits and shirts, they have expanded to jeans and other casual fashion items to cover people’s needs.
LifeStyle Design, the company behind the service, fundraised about 100 million yen (or about $830,000) from Nissay Capital in May.
Translated by Moto Tsujino via Mother First, edited by “Tex” Pomeroy and Masaru Ikeda