Google has invested in a Japan-based artificial intelligence and machine learning startup called ABEJA. The investment is undisclosed, but TechCrunch reported that it appears to be in the single-digit millions. ABEJA has raised JPY 6 billion (about $53 million) from investors so far. Google’s Series C extension investment in ABEJA was strategic.
“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,'” said ABEJA Representative Director Yousuke Okada. “Through our collaboration with Google, we will help to grow the AI market in Japan and drive further structural change across all industries.”
With this investment, ABEJA plans to continue using artificial intelligence and machine learning to promote business innovation across a variety of industries and settings in Japan and overseas.
ABEJA’s platform-as-a-service taps into machine learning to help over 150 companies develop business analysis and insights based on large data sets. One of ABEJA’s products — which is known as ABEJA Insight for Retail — is used by retail stores to gain better insights from customer data, which is used by 100 corporate customers. And ABEJA Insight for Retail is deployed across 520 retail stores, mostly in Japan.
“ABEJA has strong technical capabilities and ML expertise, and is respected across the industry for its track record of collaboration and the effective deployment of its tech solutions,” added Google Cloud Japan managing director Shinichi Abe in a statement. “This investment paves the way for collaboration with ABEJA in innovative solutions in the retail and manufacturing sector, as well as other verticals.”