Google invests in Japanese AI and machine learning startup ABEJA

Google has made a rare investment in Japan after the company produced a follow-on round for AI and machine learning startup ABEJA.

The deal amount is undisclosed but a bit digging suggests that it is likely a single-digit million US dollar figure. That’s because six-year-old ABEJA did confirm that it has now raised JPY 6 billion ($ 53 million) from investors to date. The firm has raised $45 million in disclosed uppercase, according to Crunchbase, which leaves around$ 8 million unaccounted for — although that plows both the Google investment and a previous Series A handled in 2014, which was also undisclosed.

Numbers aside, the slew is striking is not merely because it represents a Google deal in Japan, but because it is tactical in nature.

” Going forward, ABEJA and Google will collaborate on AI and ML solutions across various sectors, including retail and manufacturing, driving the implementation of AI solutions, along with farther rise in the Japanese AI sector ,” ABEJA said in a statement.

The startup’s core offering is a’ scaffold as a service’ that uses machine learning to aid over 150 corporations develop business analysis and insight from their data accumulations. There is a specialist product for sales outlet which hones in on patron and retail data — that’s used by some 100 corporate customers, according to ABEJA.

” 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 ,” said Shinichi Abe, Managing board of Google Cloud Japan, in a pre-prepared proclamation.” This investment paves the behavior for partnerships with ABEJA in innovative solutions in the retail and manufacturing sector, as well as other verticals .”

Google has situated significant increased emphasis on AI and machine learning in China — where it opened a lab in Beijing one year ago — but that aside the majority of its research and focus has come from the U.S. and too Europe, where its Deep Mind unit is headquartered. Google did buy startups in India and Singaporethat include AI and ML abilities, but those considers were aimed at growing its in-house concoction teams which are customizing and creating services for those growing local markets.

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