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3 rising startups in Japan

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This week saw three startups get recognized by investors. Each startup has its own take on using technology to streamline existing services.



Payke, pronounced like the “paque” in “opaque,” provides an app that allows customers to scan a barcode on the product of their choice, opening a comprehensive description of the good they are holding on their phone in their preferred language. The service currently supports English, Japanese, Korean, and several different variations of Chinese.

Earlier this week, Beenos, NTT Data, The Bank of Okinawa, The Okinawa Development Finance Corporation, and Colopl Next made a joint investment of nearly US$1.8 million in the startup.



WhatzMoney is a home loan rate comparison and analysis site. Last Thursday it raised over US$700,000 in funds, the Bridge reports.

The service allows users to compare their financial institution’s home loan rates with others across Japan. By WhatzMoney’s reckoning, Japan is one of the biggest markets in the world for home refinancing, second only to China and the United States.

This round of investment comes from professional investor Tomohiro Kinoshita and D4V, also known as Design for Ventures. This is the second round of investment by D4V in the company, following a total contribution of US$400,000 last year along with several other parties.


Teachme Biz

Teachme Biz is a crowdsourced platform for business education.

The smartphone and PC application allows users to browse business tips and manuals provided by other users for a subscription fee. Teachme Biz supports user-generated text manuals, audio guides, and video tutorials for a wide variety of subjects.

Recruit Holdings, Nippon Venture Capital Co., and Mitsubishi UFJ Capital invested a lump sum amounting to roughly US$1 million last Monday.

This comes right off the heels of Japan Airline’s announcement that it will be using the application as one of its primary methods of flight crew training.

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