AI All Funding Robotics Startup News in Korea (Korean Startup News)

The Invention Lab Completed pre-Series A investment for FutureGate and dSPECTER

2024-05-16 2 min read


The Invention Lab Completed pre-Series A investment for FutureGate and dSPECTER

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Invention Lab has completed pre-Series A investments of 400 million KRW and 800 million KRW, respectively, through a deeptech venture investment consortium for FutureGate and dSPECTER, concluding the acquisition of new shares as well. The Invention Lab has recently been focusing on investing in early-stage startups in the robotics field and deep tech areas such as Deep AI. It is also on the verge of forming the Kwangwoon University-The Invention Lab DeepTech Venture Investment Consortium 1, participating as a joint operation member with Kwangwoon University Technology Holdings Company.

FutureGate is a korean startup that provides optimal AI unmanned shelf solutions and AI unmanned distribution platform services for unmanned retail stores. Its founder, Jang Jong-ho, has expertise in retail business strategy planning for major corporations such as Emart, GS Home Shopping, and Homeplus.

While existing unmanned shelf solutions are limited to recognizing simple products like bottles, cans, and boxes, FutureGate has a solution that can recognize difficult-to-distinguish products like pouches and plastic, and it also possesses a refrigerated solution that operates even at temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius. To achieve this, FutureGate has developed its proprietary neural network, FG-DOU (Deep Object Understanding), overcoming the drawbacks of conventional artificial intelligence computer vision product recognition algorithms. With this algorithm, accurate individual product extraction and recognition are possible from complex image data of shelf products captured by camera sensors, and precise recognition of the product picked up by the customer is possible through the fusion of weight change data from shelf-by-shelf weight sensors.

FutureGate has secured initial customers through business partnerships with SK Telecom and SK Sieldus, Hyosung TNS, APTi (an apartment management and resident information platform), and Kurly Corp. for joint development of AI unmanned store businesses. They have completed the production of Kurly’s AI unmanned shelves.

dSPECTER is a korean robotics startup developing sensors and AI algorithms that can be mounted on quadrupedal walking robots. Following an approximately 480 million KRW seed investment by The Invention Lab, they proceeded with follow-up investments through Club Deal with Scale Up Partners.

The founder of dSPECTER, Kim Jong-hwan, is well known as the founder of “Robot Soccer” and is currently a professor at KAIST. The company is developing AI algorithms capable of quadrupedal walking. dSPECTER has been recognized for its technological potential to develop customized AI security solutions using quadrupedal walking robots and has been selected for DeepTech Tips, with prospects for use in various fields such as post-event security and surveillance robots.

Kim Jin-young, CEO of The Invention Lab, stated, “Through the formation of venture investment consortia in the future, we plan to provide substantial support in various ways such as technology commercialization, follow-up investment support, global expansion support, industry-academia cooperation support, and government support program linkage, focusing on early-stage startups in the deeptech field.”

Furthermore, he added, “Through an agreement with Wa’ed Ventures, a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, we have agreed to hold quarterly IR Days for Korean startups in the deeptech field, and we are actively engaging in various discussions, including direct investment based on active technology transfer.”

[Funding News in Korea]

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