Japanese VC Global Brain invests in smart lock provider Photosynth

Light is cast on a Japanese 10,000 yen note placed on top of U.S. One-hundred dollar bills at Interbank Inc. money exchange in Tokyo, in this September 9, 2010 picture illustration. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

Japanese venture capital firm Global Brain has invested an undisclosed sum in Photosynth Inc., a startup developing Akerun smart lock and online management system, according to an announcement.

The investment was made through its 31VENTURES Global Innovation Fund I, a corporate venture capital fund formed by Mitsui Fudosan and Global Brain Corporation.

The JPY3.5 billion ($32.6 million) Series C round was joined by Globis Capital Partners, NTT Docomo Ventures, Line Ventures, Mitsui Fudosan CVC, and Scrum Ventures, AVCJ reported.

Photosynth’s smart lock device can be attached to any door and be opened/locked with a smartphone or IC card, such as train electronic fare cards. Also, the online management system can be used for employee attendance management and as proof of the security level of user companies.

“Global Brain is valuing Photosynth’s potential to digitalize legacy physical keys and realize a key-less society. We will support Photosynth by giving strategic advice for building new products and alliances with new partners,” the VC firm said in the announcement.

Global Brain is an early-stage venture capital firm expanding its investment activities in the US and Asia. In February, the VC firm co-invested in the Series B round of Singapore-based GTRIIP, a digital identity software provider that enables hotel check-ins with a selfie.

 

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

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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.