Japanese Deep-tech Startup Raises $2.2million Funding

Aroma Bit develops compact odor imaging sensor and has recently launched two new devices

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By Komal Nathani

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Have you ever thought of sharing your favorite scent with someone on the other side of the world? Or if you could capture the scent of fresh mountain air while on a vacation and then recreate it once you are back home? Well, it's possible now! A Tokyo-based deep-tech firm Aroma Bit has made it possible.

The startup recently raised $2.2 million (250 million JPY) funding in Series A round led by Sony's VC firm, Sony Innovation Fund and other undisclosed investors.

Founded by Shunichiro Kuroki in 2014, Aroma Bit designs, develops, manufactures and sells compact odor imaging sensor and innovative services using the sensor. The company's novel technology digitally captures scents and enables you to visualize aromas.

The company is targeting customers in areas such as food and beverage, consumer goods, cosmetics, industrial machineries, robotics, mobilities, healthcare, agriculture, marketing, among others amid the rise of digital olfactory device market in Asia.

The funding will help the company strengthen its digital olfactory market, according to the statement by company to press.

The company will utilize its funds in further business collaborations this year and also has plans to establish a new technology. The new technology will help the company in establishing industry-specific innovative solutions using odor imaging sensors and data with specific partner companies from various applications and industries.

The company also has plans to reinforce corporate organization to accelerate compact odor sensor development for further miniaturization, cost reduction and mass production, as well as commercialization of the sensor through the allocation of new shares to a third party. It's also eyeing global expansion of its sales and marketing function in pursuit of its corporate vision: "Realizing better society by visualizing the invisible world of odor/aroma through aroma imaging technology."

According to 2019 Market Research Future, the digital scent technology market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 30 percent from 2017 to reach $1 billion by 2023. While North America is estimated to account for the largest share of the market, Asia-Pacific is projected to grow at the fastest rate during the forecast period.

Amid the growing potential in olfactory marketing, the startup whose major shareholders include East Ventures and Innovation & Future Creation Inc, aims to build the world's first digital smell database through its sensor devices. It recently launched the two new devices: Aroma Coder, a high-speed measurement system that results in a pattern of 35 different sensor output data; and SDK-1Q, a development kit that can detect the target smell. The products can be used for quality control, ambient monitoring, healthcare, home appliance, and industrial and machinery applications.

Komal Nathani

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific

A firm believer of hard work and patience. Love to cover stories that hold a potential to change the momentum of business world. Currently, a part of all-women web team of Entrepreneur’s Asia Pacific edition to jig the wheel of business journalism!

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