Top AI-based startups in Japan

Machines that have been taught to understand and learn in the same way as humans are said to have artificial intelligence (AI). They can be introduced to perform operations that normally require human intellect, such as speech recognition, natural language understanding, and decision making. AI can take many forms, including computer vision, natural language processing, and machine learning. Many industries could transform thanks to artificial intelligence, which could also increase task accuracy and efficiency.

We will look at some AI-based startups in Japan in this article.

Level Ⅳ

Providers of software and systems for creating autonomous vehicles. The company claims that with the help of its partners, it can offer complete solutions for the development of autonomous vehicles. Provides 3D printed electric vehicle platforms, autonomy development kits, sensors, software and more related services. It offers sensor fusion technology and its product range combines laser scanners and cameras. It also sells devices that allow drivers to operate autonomous driving features from the front seats. The company also offers pre-installed independent driving software called Autoware in packaged computers.


Ispace creates micro-robots to find the materials required to sustain human life in space. The company specializes in finding, removing and distributing lunar ice to customers in cis-lunar orbit. It uses off-the-shelf (COTS) and 3D-printed materials for rapid prototyping, maximizing structural mass efficiency and shortening the development life cycle. It oversees Team HAKUTO’s technological and commercial development efforts in the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition. The company successfully placed a privately funded robot on the moon and awarded it a milestone prize of $500,000 in mobility.

Provider of legal contract review management solutions powered by artificial intelligence and the cloud. The platform’s products, Legal Force and LegalForce Cabinet, are an AI contract analysis tool and a contract management system. It offers tools for thorough contract identification and real-time removal of quality variations. It gives users access to a pricing module with a subscription model.

Preferred infrastructure

The Japanese search engine provider. They are very knowledgeable about distributed systems, natural language processing and machine learning. Sedue, an NLP-based search tool for websites and corporate networks, is one of the company’s offerings. An NLP-based categorization engine called Bazil is used to examine emails, e-commerce websites and Twitter. Jubatus is a machine learning platform that extracts knowledge from massive amounts of data in real time. The founders predict that their company could be valued at $200 million. The media industry accounts for the majority of customers.

AI Medical Service

AIM offers a technique that helps diagnose “cancer-related lesions” in the digestive organs through endoscopic inspection. In the clinical setting of endoscopes, the AI ​​software currently being researched and developed uses data from the past and offers diagnostic support through image analysis.


Miniaturized quantitative mass spectrometer maker. The company has obtained a patent for intelligent mass spectrometry. It has created the smallest, plug-and-play, real-time, cloud-connected, AI-enabled mass spectrometer. For semiconductor applications, process gas detection and lyophilization process gas detection, respectively, it offers the AMS1000 and LyoSentinel mass spectrometers.


AI-powered patient interaction tools for healthcare professionals and online consultations for patients. The product’s features include managing medical information online, a built-in questionnaire for senior patients, and artificial intelligence to assist hospital staff with their initial physical examinations. Other features include editors for physicians, a dictionary of disease names, and a summary of the introduction to medicine. AI conversations to achieve task switching between jobs are also included. In addition, it offers chatbot services so that customers can ask questions regarding the accompanying symptoms of the diseases.


For consumers, Groove-X has created a social robot called LOVOT. A total of 50 sensors, including a 360-degree camera, thermal vision, microphone, depth camera, distance and obstacle sensors, and retractable wheels for mobility, are located on the robot’s body. According to the company, ML and DL are used to process the stimuli collected by these sensors to generate real-time motion. Additional features include an answering machine, baby monitor and home patrol.


A company that offers the retail industry customer engagement solutions powered by IoT. It offers online-to-offline marketing solutions, uses data to entice customers and advertises in-store. In addition, it provides measurements of store visits and in-store analyses. An analytics platform and AI-powered beacons are included in the service.


LeapMind Inc. seeks to provide deep learning technology that is less resource and power intensive. The company’s compact form factor and low power consumption FPGA is their answer to the deep learning difficulties. Both capabilities are essential because deep learning requires a lot of computing power to achieve speech and image recognition.

LeapMind began providing the DeLTA-Lite tool in April 2018 to help develop Deep Learning models. The tool simplifies the creation of deep learning design models by removing the need for specialized hardware, software and model design knowledge.


The HACARUS-X AI technology from Hacarus Inc., which combines sparse modeling with machine learning technology, has a small form factor and low power requirement. Hacarus merges HACARUS-X algorithms with Xilinx’s FPGA Zynq UltraScale + MPSoC in collaboration with semiconductor trading company PALTEK. Both companies use a box computer to implement HACARUS-X algorithms.

Sparse modeling is gaining popularity as a technique that enables humans to understand the decision-making process of AI by isolating features from a limited set of learning data.

Ascent Robotics

The strategy used by Ascent is based on their Atlas AI learning architecture. According to the company, it acts as the “skeleton” on which AI training simulations are built. It has models that can produce natural environments, scenarios and feedback in a virtual world that effectively teach AI algorithms how to act. The learning efficiency of AI is said to be 50 times higher when actual and synthetic data are combined than when real data is used alone. By the end of 2020, Ascent hopes to produce a Level 4 (fully autonomous) car software company and plans to go public. PlayStation creator and former Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Ken Kutaragi is on the startup’s board. It plans a new funding round of $30-50 million shortly.

Cogent Labs

Cogent Labs, a Tokyo startup founded in 2015, creates AI solutions for time series forecasting, character recognition and natural language understanding. The company’s Tegaki Optical Character Recognition (OCR) program has a handwriting recognition rate of 99.22%. It targets the file assistant position, which is the most widespread occupation to be displaced by AI. Cogent has signed up massive corporation Softbank as one of its clients, and it’s only available in Japanese.

From text-based data such as news, social media feeds and documents, the Kaidoku engine for natural language understanding extracts insights. It offers search, filter and summarization capabilities in addition to time-based visualizations. Where conventional statistical models typically fall short, the company’s time series forecasting algorithms evaluate vast amounts of historical data to produce long- and short-term forecasts. This is useful for applications such as securities trading, and Nomura, one of the largest investment banks in the country, is among the startup’s customers.


Tokyo company Moneytree was established in 2012 and created a platform to aggregate financial data for individuals and businesses. Moneytree automatically imports users’ assets and transactions into the platform when they register their bank accounts, credit cards and other accounts (such as securities accounts or loyalty cards). Data is retained for the duration of the subscription, including current analytics and invaluable historical knowledge.

Along with an integration solution for financial companies called MT Link, the company also offers an automated business expense registration and reimbursement service that works under similar principles. Currently, the platform has 2,600 service providers nationwide.


AI-based motion control software is created by Tokyo company Mujin for industrial robots. Mujin’s controllers allow robots to “think” through their actions without pre-programming, adapting to reality as they go, just as most humans do. Traditionally, robots are programmed to perform specific jobs or movements.

Although the company does not create robots, it offers controllers that are compatible with most modern robots on the market. For picking, packaging and sorting operations, Mujin’s solutions are mostly used in logistics, storage and industrial automation. In collaboration with the Chinese e-commerce giant, the company has created the first warehouse in the world without any human employees. It seems certain that some of the major warehouse robot manufacturers would try to incorporate Mujin’s groundbreaking motion control technology into their products.

SoftBank Robotics

SoftBank Robotics is a subsidiary of the Japanese multinational company SoftBank Group, which specializes in developing and producing robots and artificial intelligence (AI) technology. The company is best known for its consumer robot, Pepper, designed for customer service, education and research applications. Pepper is a humanoid robot that can recognize and respond to human emotions and engage in basic conversation using natural language processing.

SoftBank Robotics also offers a range of robots and AI products, such as the Whiz cleaning robot, the Nao robot and the NAOqi operating system. These robots and technology are aimed at various industries, including retail, healthcare, education and research.


Autify is a software testing and automation platform that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to automate web and mobile application testing. The platform is designed to help companies improve the efficiency and accuracy of their testing processes by automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks.

One of the key features of Autify is its ability to automatically generate test cases by learning from a user’s manual testing sessions. The platform also allows users to perform visual testing, which helps ensure that the look and functionality of their applications are consistent across different devices and browsers.


NEC has been working with artificial intelligence (AI) for many years and has developed various AI-based solutions for several industries, such as finance, transportation and public safety.

NEC’s AI technology includes natural language processing, computer vision and machine learning. The company’s AI platform, “NEC the WISE”, provides various AI-based solutions for multiple industries, such as smart cities, retail and manufacturing. NEC also offers biometric identification systems, such as facial recognition, fingerprint recognition and iris recognition, which can be used for security and surveillance purposes.

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Note: We tried our best to feature the cool AI startups, but if we missed anything, then please feel free to reach out at [email protected] 

Prathamesh Ingle is a mechanical engineer and works as a data analyst. He is also an AI practitioner and certified data scientist with interest in applications of AI. He is enthusiastic about exploring new technologies and advancing their real-world applications

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