Announcing LAUNCHPAD Entertainment’s Finalists

This year, LAUNCHPAD’s theme was Entertainment, which we defined as “services that excite and entertain people.”

Every year, twice a year, we screen hundreds of startups for our startup pitch competition, LAUNCHPAD, that happens at Japan’s biggest tech conference, IVS. This year, was no different. The finalists for this Friday’s LAUNCHPAD Entertainment have been confirmed and we know you’re curious. We have the comments from the selection committee to introduce who they are and what they do to the world.

Meet the candidates below.

JUNGLE X CORP., 直江 文忠(Panja Naoe)

JUNGLE Bet is the first sports betting company in Japan.

What Caught Our Attention

The company is a very ambitious startup that is trying to overcome cultural taboos and bring the “in-play” betting method, which is popular in the UK and is the most advanced sports betting method, to the UK, Japan and the US.

Radiotalk, Inc., 井上佳央里(Kaori Inoue)

Dedicated to making every creator profitable, Radiotalk is an easy-to-use voice distribution service.

What Caught Our Attention

Radiotalk is a place where ordinary people can earn money just by talking. Kaori’s excellent presentation made us feel that she is indeed the President of a audio content startup.

Graffity, Inc., 森本 俊亨(Toshiaki Morimoto)

Dodge, aim, and shoot! Meet the brand new AR shooting game, Leap Trigger, by Graffity, Inc.

What Caught Our Attention

While going through trial and error in the new experience of AR games, Mr. Morimoto came up with a hypothesis that shooting would be popular among users, and it has started to gain traction. In addition, the quality of the presentation was high, and we felt Mr. Morimoto’s confidence in it. We’re also impressed by the fact that he’s challenging the rapid-growing AR industry overseas.

Mechu, Inc., 小泉 拓学(Takumichi Koizumi)

Free subscription fan community, Mechu by Zig, Inc.

What Caught Our Attention

The creative economy is a movement that is attracting attention overseas as well. We believe that the trend of empowering individual creators is unstoppable. Mr. Koizumi answered the questions from the judges quickly, and his presentation was very thorough.

KAUCHE, Inc., 門奈 剣平(Kempei Monna)

KAUCHE is an e-commerce app that doesn’t let you shop alone.

What Caught Our Attention

The “share purchase” that Cowshe aims to achieve is already widespread in China and other countries, and we feel that it has great potential in Japan as well. The founder is fluent in Chinese and has done a lot of research on PDD, the company that preceded it.

Engate, Inc., 城戸 幸一郎(Koichiro Kido)

Gifting SNS service Engate allows fans and athlete to connect directly.

What Caught Our Attention

The company is using new business models, such as gifting, to boost the sports industry, and with many J-League, B-League, and professional baseball teams already participating. We believe the company has great momentum.

Fansa LLC, Richard Borg

Fansa allows you to create one-of-a-kind personal video messages.

What Caught Our Attention

The business idea of video messages sent only to users from a celebrity was interesting, but above all, the presentation itself was very bright, unique and interesting.

Sozi, Inc., 宮村 哲宏(Tetsuhiro Miyamura)

pib/POTOFU/OFUSE by Sozi, Inc. is an ecosystem to support sustainable creative activities of creators

What Caught Our Attention

The company has created a comprehensive service for online creators to be able to live by drawing pictures they like, by understanding the problems of creatives very deeply.

TORIHADA, Inc., 大社 武(Takeru Okoso)

Fanme is a fan community service for creators to create and monetize their creations.

What Caught Our Attention

A PtoC platform for short movie creators, created by a company that has grown into Japan’s number one TikTok MCN in three years. That alone is worth noting.

KLEIO, Inc., 神名 秀紀(Hidenori Kamina)

Receive congratulatory messages from celebrities of your dreams with Celebrate Message.

What Caught Our Attention

Video messages from Riki Choshu and Yoko Kumada were played during the presentation, and the lineup of team members and celebrities who would be joining the project was quite spectacular, making the overall presentation impressive.

VARK, Inc., 加藤 卓也(Kato Takuya)

Enjoy live events in the virtual space with virtual entertainment SNS, VARK.

What Caught Our Attention

Now that the excitement of virtual live performances has been accelerated due to COVID. We believe that the service would be able to convey the production, goods selling, and above all, the enthusiasm among fans.

Attructure, Inc., 中村 政義(Masayoshi Nakamura)

Attructure uses machine learning technology that allows virtual organisms to learn and evolve.

What Caught Our Attention

We were intrigued by the evolutionary approach to virtual characters. Please listen to the pitch while imagining how a group of organisms would be selected in the primitive earth.

Urakata, Inc., 山田 慎也(Shinya Yamada)

Sotolist is a new e-commerce platform for those who love the Great Outdoors.

What Caught Our Attention

Their desire to make an impact on society through their love of the outdoors was palpable during their presentation, which was why they were selected as finalists. It was wonderful to see how they incorporated the feedback from the selection process into their approach to the next round.

Neontetra, Inc., 赤崎 湧生(Yuui Akasaki)

UmaSuma is a social networking service for horse racing fans to gather and make predictions.

What Caught Our Attention

The market for horse racing forecasters may seem niche at first glance, but it is noteworthy how the team is trying to turn the deep ecosystem of public competitions into a business where huge amounts of money move.

*This article was translated from Japanese.

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Headline Asia is a venture capital firm operating out of three cities in Asia: Tokyo, Taipei, and Beijing. We invest in winning founders with global aspirations. We’re Headline, and we help founders with global aspirations win bigger. Check us out at headline.com.

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