Japan: Global Brain backs Base Foods; Dating app Dine secures investment

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Mount Fuji and buildings in the Shinjuku district are reflected on a table at an observation deck in Tokyo, Japan. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

In separate deal news from Japanese startups, food technology firm Base Food and social dating app firm Mrk & Co have closed funding rounds.

Base Food closes $892k seed round from Global Brain

Tokyo-based Base Food, the developer of Base Pasta, has raised JPY 100 million ($892,000) seed round from Japanese venture firm Global Brain.

The development, reported by The Bridge, will fund overseas expansion targeting, diversification of their product range and workforce expansion.

The product development of Base Pasta was crowdfunded in July 2016 and it targets consumers who are uncertain of the necessary nutrient intake. It is meant to provide a nutritionally complete meal that can become a staple food in a consumers’ diet.

Mrk & Co secure $1.3m venture investment

Tokyo-based Mrk & Co, which is behind mobile dating app Dine, has closed a venture investment of JPY 150 million ($1.3 million) from Tokyo-listed marriage agency big name Partner Agent, Venture United, and a loan from the Japan Finance Corporation. This follows a JPY 40 million ($356,800) investment from CyberAgent Ventures and iSGS Investment Works in March 2016.

Established in 2015 by CEO Keisuke Kamijo and CTO Takashi Morioka, it will officially launch its mobile app in Japan.

It monetizes through a subscription model of JPY 6500 ($57) per month or JPy 4800 ($42) if users pay for the first three months upfront. Unlike other social dating apps, which are often free to use, this higher price sees the outcome being greater commitment to dates and a higher quality in matching.

The app is live in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and Vancouver.

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