2024.5.22 プレスリリース

AWL, the Leading Edge AI Company Raises 470 million JPY, Mainly Led by “All Hokkaido” Co-investment
~ A new regional co-creation model for the growth of startups ~


AWL, the Leading Edge AI Company Raises 470 million JPY, Mainly Led by “All Hokkaido” Co-investment
~ A new regional co-creation model for the growth of startups ~

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  • プレスリリース

AWL, Inc. (Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, President & CEO: Muneharu Kitade, hereinafter referred to as “AWL”), a certified Hokkaido-University startup that provides edge AI camera solutions, announces that it has raised a total of JPY 4.7 hundred million, bringing the total amount of funding raised by the company to JPY 4.50 billion.

In this funding, AWL raised from five companies headquartered in Hokkaido, S Ventures Co., Ltd., Sapporo Innovation Fund Investment Limited Partnership, Tanioka Ryokka Co., Ltd., Hokuyo SDGs Promotion Fund 2, and Hokkaido Venture Capital, Inc., as well as FCC Co., Ltd. and Bornrex & Co., Ltd. AWL raised a total of JPY 4.7 hundred million including the loan from Japan Finance Corporation, bringing the total funding to JPY 4.5 billion.

・Background and purpose of fundraising

AWL is a deep tech startup company that has world-class edge AI technology and implementation capabilities, and converts physical space into data beyond the human eye to improve productivity, customer and employee experience, and strengthen security in various industries, including the retail industry. Leveraging our extensive track record at SAPPORO DRUG STORE, a drugstore in Hokkaido, we are expanding our social implementation to various fields such as restaurants, financial institutions, logistics, agriculture, and mobility, in addition to supermarkets, convenience stores, and specialty stores. Furthermore, we are promoting the development of cutting-edge technologies and solutions through expansion into the ASEAN region, mainly in Indonesia, and partnerships with global top companies in the semiconductor and camera industries.

Through this funding and utilization of the selected support projects, AWL, as a leading deep tech startup company in Hokkaido, will accelerate the research and development of advanced technologies, the creation of sustainable and innovative output, and commercialization, and solve the labor shortage and productivity improvement that are issues not only in Japan but also in the world as a whole. We will also contribute to GX (Green Transformation) by taking advantage of the low power consumption, which is one of the strengths of edge AI.

・Awarded large-scale government projects

Reiwa 5th Research and Development Support Program for Growing Small and Medium Enterprises (Go-Tech Project) Part 2: “Development of video recognition edge AI middleware that automatically adopts diverse environments”

FY2023 “Deep Tech Startup Support Fund / Deep Tech Startup Support Project” Part 3: “Development of basic technology for large-scale deployment of AI solutions to improve on-site productivity”

・Comment on All-Hokkaido co-investment
Tomoya Sasaki, Sapporo Innovation Fund Investment Limited Partnership and Director of DG Incubation, Inc.

Since its establishment in 2021, ., Sapporo Innovation Fund has been working to revitalize Hokkaido’s startup ecosystem as a regional public-private partnership fund. AWL, a deep tech startup from Hokkaido University, and our first encounter dates back to 2017. AWL’s growth has coincided with the development of the ecosystem, and it is very significant that AWL has been selected and funded for the major government projects.

Hokkaido is strong in the IT and AI fields, led by Hokkaido University, and is showing a boom in the establishment of startups. Among them, AWL, as a leading deep tech startup in Hokkaido, has promoted cutting-edge research and development, achieved sustainable and innovative outcomes, and realized commercialization and social implementation. AWL’s high potential gives them the ability to take on global challenges, and they are expected to grow into unicorn companies from Hokkaido.
The Sapporo Innovation Fund also has high expectations for AWL. We are pleased that this co-investment with a Hokkaido VC firms will help them on their path to further growth and be a driving force for their growth. AWL will be based in Hokkaido and will continue to expand its business with great support from the local community.

We believe that this all-Hokkaido co-investment is of great significance as a new model for regional co-creation. We sincerely hope that this success story will promote the development of regional ventures in Hokkaido and beyond, and serve as a foundation for the creation of more innovative businesses for the future.

・Comment from Muneharu Kitade, President & CEO of AWL

We would like to express our deepest gratitude to all of our new investors. This fundraising was made possible with a great deal of support, especially from Hokkaido, where we are rooted. AWL’s strength, the world’s highest-level AI technology, was born and nurtured in Hokkaido. I deeply feel that for the development of the Hokkaido economy, people are expecting further growth and expansion of AWL. In order to meet these expectations, we intend to work harder to build a solid business foundation for continuous growth.

・Comment from Yasuhiro Tsuchida, Director and CTO of AWL

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all of you for successfully completing this new fundraising.
AWL’s strong research and development of edge AI technology and its knowledge and development capabilities to implement it in physical space form our core corporate value, creating broad expectations for product development and market development using AI video analysis that transcend national borders and cultural barriers. In order to meet the expectations, all of our engineering members will continue to move forward with the same spirit as President Kitade, and we will continue to contribute to the creation of a sustainable society through innovative challenges with the utmost effort of AWL.

・About AWL, Inc.

A certified Hokkaido-University startup with cutting-edge edge AI (artificial intelligence) video analysis technology and a number of achievements in the utilization and introduction of IoT, mainly in the retail industry. In Hokkaido, a region with advanced issues where various social problems such as the declining birthrate, aging population and labor shortage are becoming apparent ahead of time, we have partnered with the drugstore chain “SATUDORA”, which is also headquartered in Hokkaido, to provide high-quality, low-cost solutions for the frontline. Proprietary AI technology supplements the “human eye” and “visualizes people and physical space in real time” at any site. We continue to take on the challenge of social issues together with global customers.

With the aim of expanding its state-of-the-art AI R&D system, the company has shifted to global recruitment from the early days and has succeeded in acquiring excellent human resources from about 20 countries around the world. Currently, about 90% of engineers are from outside Japan. Appointments to the management level are promoted without distinction, regardless of age, gender, or nationality, and a diverse corporate culture similar to that of Silicon Valley has been established.

【AWL, Inc. Company Profile】

Company Name : AWL, Inc.
Established : June 1, 2016
Representative : Muneharu Kitade, President and CEO
Location : [Tokyo Head Office] 434, Shin-Tokyo Bldg. 4F, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Location : [Sapporo Head Office] 4-1-20, Kita 8jo Higashi, Higashi-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido
Business : Development and provision of edge AI video analytics solutions
URL    :

■Contact us

Tsuchida / AWL, Inc.
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