Press Releases 2018

SoftBank Announces Third Round
‘SoftBank Innovation Program’ Winners

SoftBank to tie up with 8 companies and conduct test marketing

May 31, 2018
SoftBank Corp.

SoftBank Corp. (“SoftBank”) today announced results for the third round of its ‘SoftBank Innovation Program’ launched in November 2017. SoftBank will tie up with eight companies from Japan and abroad to conduct test marketing and consider future commercialization.

The SoftBank Innovation Program's aim is to create new value by combining the innovative solutions and technologies of other companies with SoftBank's own resources*1. The third round of the SoftBank Innovation Program was open to five categories—AI as a Service*2, Disrupt*3, EdTech*4, Home*5 and AR (augmented reality) / VR (virtual reality). SoftBank received approximately 300 entries and selected eight from the AI as a Service, Disrupt and AR / VR categories to consider for commercialization.

Through the SoftBank Innovation Program, SoftBank will continue to seek to create new value by teaming up with companies around the world.

  1. *1
    For more on the SoftBank Innovation Program, please visit the official website.
  2. *2
    Artificial intelligence (AI) provided as a service
  3. *3
    Innovative solutions that disrupt preconceived notions
  4. *4
    Solutions that fuse education and IT
  5. *5
    A variety of services and solutions (including smart homes) that use homes as a touch point

Outline of Test Marketing Items

Theme Company Overview
AI as a Service Retrieva
1) AI × Operation
Support for call center tasks by using AI technology
Disrupt uLikeKorea
2) IoT × Livestock
Livestock management platform that utilizes IoT devices
3) AI × Sales/Customer Support
Hybrid AI solution for remote communication or multi-modal automated communication
Nihonshu Oendan
4) IoT × Sake
Smart sake brewing service that uses IoT devices
AR/VR eyecandylab
5) AR × Media
Solution that displays AR content on TV screens
6) VR × Avatars
Solution that generates mobile/AR/VR compatible realistic 3D AI avatars, authenticated and secured with blockchain
7) VR × Motion
Solution that enables free movement of avatars in the VR space
8) VR × Social Platforms
Media communication platform in the VR space

Outline of Companies to Conduct Test Marketing

Retrieva, Inc. (headquartered in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo)

Provides solutions for various tasks by utilizing AI technology

URL (Japanese)

uLikeKorea Co., Inc. (headquartered in South Korea)

Provides health monitoring services for cattle herds using IoT


UsideU, Inc. (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo)

Provides hybrid AI solution for remote communication or multi-modal automated communication

URL (Japanese)

Nihonshu Oendan Inc. (headquartered in Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo)

Provides solutions for sake, from brewing to consumption

URL (Japanese)

eyecandylab Corp. (headquartered in California, US)

Provides solution that imparts new experiences to TV programs with AR


ObEN, Inc. (headquartered in California, US)

Provides solutions by generating personalized AI avatars from one photo and a brief voice recording, authenticating and securing the avatars with blockchain technology


wrnch inc. (headquartered in Canada)

wrnchAI uses deep learning to understand human motion and behavior from standard video


Salin Co., Ltd. (headquartered in South Korea)

Provides platform that enables communicating with avatars among users while watching VR video

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  • Other company names, product/service names included in this press releases are registered/non-registered trademarks of the respective companies.