BUSINESS News / Press Release

2019 – 8 Technology Trends in Japan


With the Tokyo Olympics within sight, business transformation is expected to accelerate in 2019. Facing lots of difficulties such as the declining birth rate and the US-China trade war, the circumstances surrounding Japan may not be so optimistic. However, it has been proved that there is always a big business opportunity in tough times. Whether you’re an investor looking for an investment opportunity in Japan or planning to develop new business in Japan, it would be necessary to keep in mind the latest digital trends and not to miss it. According to Forbes Japan, there are 8 tech trends in Japan for 2019.

Source: Forbes Japan: Tech trends in Japan for 2019

#1 Corporate venture capital (CVC) accounts for more than half of Japan’s venture capital (VC) investment.

Japan’s VC investment is dominated by CVCs by large companies, accounting for more than half.

#2 VC investment surges in 2018

At the same time as the start-up investment is thriving, the amount of VC investment has been steadily increased in recent years.
Additonal reference: Financial Times: Japanese venture capital investment hits record levels

#3 Many of Japan’s VC invested in domestic startup companies.

Three-quarters of the start-up investment made in 2018 was for domestic startups.

#4 The number of VC exit is very limited.

The number of mergers and acquisitions have been made in 2018 has dropped to six. There are only 12 exits in total with the IPO, and it is clear that the return on investment is not easy here.

#5 More than half AI-related start-ups that companies invest are domestic companies.

As represented by large-scale investments related to autonomous driving, VC invest in AI-related startups.

#6 Among the top 20 AI-related patent applicants in the world, 12 are Japanese companies.

IBM leads Microsoft, Toshiba, and Samsung in AI-related patents. Additional reference: WIPO Technology Trends report [PDF]

#7 US investors have also begun to participate in Japanese AI-related startup investments.

US investors are involved in 13 cases, including Google’s investment in Abeja, which took place in 2018.
Additional reference: Abeja, is a Japanese company develops AI business solutions utilizing deep learning.

#8 Meanwhile, VC investment in robotics turned to decline in 2018