DEEPCORE Inc. (“DEEPCORE”), an AI-focused incubator based in Japan, today announced the launch of “DEEPCORE TOKYO I Investment Limited Partnership,” a venture capital fund which invests in seed and early-stage AI startups. DEEPCORE aims to raise a total of JPY6 billion for the fund. The fund made its maiden investment in VAAK Inc. (“VAAK”) which was executed in April 2018.
DEEPCORE, whose mission is to be a “CORE for Disruptive Innovations,” is an AI-focused incubator that cultivates young and talented entrepreneurs in the AI field, especially in the Deep Learning arena. DEEPCORE aims to build an ecosystem that fosters entrepreneurs who generate disruptive innovations with technologies and use AI technologies, including Deep Learning, in society. DEEPCORE will open the community and co-working space “KERNEL” (in Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo) this summer, and build an AI technology-driven community that enables joint projects with companies and support startups.
DEEPCORE launched the fund to support the growth of promising seed and early-stage AI startups, aiming to bring about disruptive innovations from Japan to the rest of the world.
2. Overview of Fund
DEEPCORE TOKYO I Investment Limited Partnership is a fund that invests in promising seed and early-stage AI startups and supports their growth. The fund invests in AI startups originating from “KERNEL HONGO,” and AI startups which have already been established.
DEEPCORE TOKYO I Investment Limited Partnership
Seed and early-stage AI startups
The fund will be open for additional LPs until December this year, when its final closing is expected to be completed.
3. Support for portfolio companies
· Business and technical support
· Early-stage funding and fund-raising support for later rounds including follow-on investments
·Support provided by NVIDIA such as technical consulting, training via the Deep Learning Institute (DLI), and recommendations to NVIDIA’s Inception Program*
· Back office support package covering general affairs, accounting, HR, PR.
(Details to be announced at a later date)
4. Maiden Investment
DEEPCORE TOKYO made its maiden investment, executed in April 2018, in VAAK.
Date of establishment
November 1, 2017
Capital (including capital reserve)
JPY 50 million
Crime prevention business using image analysis.
Providing “VAAKEYE” which utilizes security camera analysis AI for shoplifting prevention.
Daiwa Akasaka Building 7F, 2-14-5 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
(From left, Katsumasa Niki, CEO of DEEPCORE Inc. and Ryo Tanaka, CEO of VAAK Inc. ）
Ryo Tanaka, CEO of VAAK Inc. said, “VAAK is pleased to announce that VAAK has received an investment from DEEPCORE. We made this decision due to DEPCORE’s AI startup-focused support system, the investment experience and expertise, deep understanding of AI, and personality of Mr. Niki and other DEEPCORE team members, the actual type of support and others, in addition to synergies to be generated with the group. We aim to lead the way as the portfolio’s initial investment.”
Katsumasa Niki, CEO of DEEPCORE Inc. said, “There is a strong demand for crime prevention solutions in various sectors, such as the retail industry, and it is a field that is expected to make a major contribution to society. We believe VAAK’s action prediction AI-technology will have a major impact in this area. We also have high expectations regarding Mr. Tanaka’s stellar managerial skills and technological capabilities proven by his track record as a serial entrepreneur.”
* DEEPCORE’s Press Release dated April 23, 2018 “SoftBank’s AI Incubator DEEPCORE Teams Up with NVIDIA to Fuel AI Startups in Japan （/en/news/release/20180423/）
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