Japan: Incubate Fund invests in Paneo, Funderbeam

Paneo has raised $800,000 in funding from Japan’s Incubate Fund while Funderbeam is entering the Asia Pacific region with an investment from Mistletoe, which has also invested in Funderbeam.

VR startup Paneo raises $800k from Incubate Fund

Paneo, a startup venture developing a virtual avatar creation product called EmbodyMe, a VR app that creates an avatar on the basis of a single headshot and is currently available on Steam and the Oculus Store, has secured 90 million yen ($808,081) from Japanese VC Incubate Fund.

Incepted in June 2016, the venture’s immediate priorities are refining their VR app and releasing their software development kit (SDK), which enables third party developers to develop content and games using EmbodyMe’s avatar function. They are targeting an SDK release date within the year.

EmbodyMe is a VR app that creates digital avatars for a user from a single photo of a users head. Through the use of a head-mounted display (HMD), it allows users to communicate over the internet in real-time.

Digital communication services offering the chance to communicate on an audiovisual basis like Skype somestimes sees cases where nuances and context can be misinterpreted or missed. The use of digital avatars compensates for this inefficiency.

The use of EmbodyMe translates to the easy creation of 3D models from head shots and depicting them in a virtual context, then allowing the reproduction of a user’s appearance, body and expressions.

Funderbeam secures funding from Mistleto, to expand into APAC

Funderbeam, originally from Estonia, which offers a blockchain-based stock exchange platform for startups, has raised EUR 2 million ($2 million) from Mistletoe, which is led by Japanese renowned entrepreneur/angel investor Taizo Son.  

At Slush Tokyo 2017, founder and CEO Kaidi Ruusalepp, disclosed the funding and highlighted that it also marked its expansion into the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, including Japan, through a strategic alliance with Mistletoe.

Ruusalepp, who previously served as CEO of the Estonian stock exchange Nasdaq Tallinn, launched Funderbeam in 2013 and in April 2016 launched a platform allowing startups to raise capital and trade their stocks. Funderbeam reports cumulative funding to date is $4.8 million while data compiled by Crunchbase estimates it at $4.75 million. Additionally, they have raised EUR 424,000 from their own funding platform.

With an office in London, it also has established partnerships with the Zagreb Stock Exchange in Croatia and the Ljubljana Stock Exchange in Slovenia. The decision to expand into the Asia-Pacific rather than the US is due to the rapid growth of Asia and the opportunities it has generated. 

Also Read: 

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Japan: Panasonic Corporation to launch VC arm with $100m corpus

Japan: IMJ Investment Partners rebrands to Spiral Ventures

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.