Together, the companies say they will begin collaborating on artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) solutions, and work together to bring about further growth in the Japanese AI sector. The collaboration will involve AI and ML solutions across various sectors, including retail and manufacturing.
ABEJA's core product is its ABEJA Platform, which leverages ML technology in data gathering, annotation, learning, deployment, inference, and relearning in a variety of fields. Delivered as a PaaS (Platform as a Service), the platform has been adopted by more than 150 companies to date, says the company.
The company uses the platform to provide its retail industry store analysis solution, ABEJA Insight for Retail, to more than 100 corporate customers and in over 520 stores - primarily leading Japanese retailers and distributors.
"Since our founding in 2012, we have been collaborating on AI business applications, and ML in particular, under our corporate philosophy 'Implement a Fruitful World,'" says Yousuke Okada, Representative Director, ABEJA. "Through our collaboration with Google, we will help to grow the AI market in Japan and drive further structural change across all industries."
On Google's part, Shinichi Abe, Managing Director of Google Cloud Japan says "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. We share a commitment to innovation and harnessing the power of AI and machine learning. This investment paves the way for collaboration with ABEJA in innovative solutions in the retail and manufacturing sector, as well as other verticals."
The Google investment was announced as a Series C extension investment, bringing the total amount raised by ABEJA to date to more than JPY6 billion (approximately US$53 million). The exact amount of funding was not disclosed, although reports estimate it to be between one and nine million dollars.