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AnyMind secures $13.4m from LINE Corporation and Mirai

David Murphy
AnyMind CEO, Kosuke Sogo

AI solutions firm AnyMind Group has announced an additional $13.4m (£10.4m) funding round, backed by LINE Corporation and Mirai Creation Fund, a limited partnership mainly backed by Toyota Motor Corporation and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), and operated by SPARX Group. Existing shareholders, including JAFCO Asia and Dream Incubator, also participated in the funding round.

The funds will be used to further develop existing platforms, grow market share in the advertising, marketing and human resource industries, and bring in the talent to effectively carry out these initiatives.

One of AnyMind Group’s primary goals for this round of funding is on strategic business collaborations with LINE Corporation and the Mirai Creation Fund.
“We have experienced great growth in the past 2.5 years, and are now looking to enter our next phase of progress, expanding market share in the geographies and industries we’re in,” said AnyMind CEO and co-founder, Kosuke Sogo. “As we’ve been operating at a profit since January 2017, our focus for this round was to select investors that could take us to that next level of growth.”

As part of the strategic collaboration, LINE Corporation will collaborate with AnyMind Group’s child company, AdAsia Holdings, for digital advertising. AdAsia Holdings provides various ad tech offerings, including the AdAsia Digital Platform for Publishers, which provides online media owners with a solution that consolidates multiple advertiser demand sources with layers of AI-driven optimization of advertiser demand sources and dynamic floor pricing for an ad space. Currently, AdAsia Holdings is powering more than 12bn monthly impressions across 800 publishers in Asia through display, native and video advertising.

Since starting operations as AdAsia Holdings in April 2016, AnyMind has expanded into 11 markets, with 13 offices, including a product development centre in Ho Chi Minh City. The company generated $12.9m in revenue for 2016, and more than doubled that in 2017 to $26m, and has been operating at a profit since January 2017.

“Ultimately, we want to empower professionals, businesses and industries to adopt emerging technology, including AI-powered solutions, providing them with end-to-end platforms for their needs,” said Sogo. “To keep up with the growth of our products in three separate industries, we will expand our engineering resource by four times, and locate additional product development headcount in our Bangkok and Tokyo offices.”

AdAsia Holdings raised an initial Series A funding round of $12m in April 2017, and an additional $2.5m in September 2017 to develop its technology and scale outside of the advertising and marketing industry. The company has also grown from 90 staff in April 2017 to over 330 staff today.

Earlier this year, the startup expanded into AnyMind Group, with the aim of providing industries, businesses and professionals with a suite of technology solutions that enable greater efficiency and scale.

These are housed under three subsidiaries. TalentMind is an applicant management platform with layers of AI-enabled screening and matching, which is now being used by over 150 businesses in Asia. CastingAsia is an influencer marketing platform that enables the matching of influencers to brand requirements, and now has over 30,000 micro- and macro-influencers across Asia. In October 2017, AdAsia Holdings, an advertising technology company with solutions for marketers and advertisers, made an entry into the publisher monetization space by acquiring Japanese publisher trading desk FourM, and Hong Kong-based publisher trading desk Acqua Media in September 2018.