Japanese Xtreme Design raises pre-Series A worth US$620k led by Freebit Investment

Xtreme Design, a Tokyo-based startup providing the cloud-based virtual supercomputing-on-demand service known as Xtreme DNA, has on Tuesday announced that it has fundraised 70 million yen (about US$620,000) in its pre-Series A round.

The round was led by Freebit Investment and individual investors which include the former Vice President of Japanese mobile game developer Colopl, Kotaro Chiba and the CEO of Takamatsu-Kotohira Electric Railway, Yasumasa Manabe.

With this funding round, it is said that there would be a probable business synergy between Xtreme Design and Freebit, the parent company of Freebit Investment which businesses involves the provision of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

This financing round also follows the round conducted last January and March by the firm’s founders and angel investors worth 30 million yen (about US$260,000).

Founded in February 2015, Xtreme Design is a platform development company for the democratization of supercomputing. In November 2016, the startup has presented its flagship product Xtreme DNA at the global supercomputer conference SuperComputing 2016.

Xtreme DNA is an unmanned service of operations which is capable of monitoring the dynamic changes of configuration in order for an effective system utilization of supercomputers through the deployment of virtual supercomputers on the cloud.

It is available for Microsoft Azure, supporting InfiniBand as well as applicable on AWS (Amazon Web Service). According to CEO Naoki Shibata, the functions of Xtreme DNA have been attracting a lot of attention as IaaS from enterprise users.

Despite Xtreme Design focus on back-end technologies, it appears to be switching gears for the next stage, releasing “Xtreme DNA 2.0.” in which Shibata explains is an attempt to supplement the visualization with well-designed UI/UX to Xtreme DNA.

“We plan to develop our service to be used not only in genome or simulation analysis but also in various fields such as IoT, image analysis or stock price prediction in fintech. The purpose of UI/UX implementation is to make it easier to be used by a wide range of users,” said Shibata.

Although a few startups in the United States also provide seemingly competitive services, Shibata expects that Xtreme Design can win out if a good product with UI/UX can be offered.

With a vision to dominate the global market, the brand-new Xtreme DNA is scheduled to be exhibited at the SXSW Trade Show which will be held in Austin, Texas on March 10th.

Travel site Ixigo secures US$15 million funding round participated by Fosun, Sequoia Capital

Chinese conglomerate Fosun has decided to participate in a US$15 to US$20 million financing round in travel search site Ixigo, a deal that is expected to mark the investment firm’s first venture transaction in India.

The US$15 to US$20 million round was first reported by the Economic Times in December to be led by marquee venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, with Fosun coming on board as a co-investor.

This Ixigo financing round also follows a US$18.5 million funding round last raised in August 2011 by SAIF Partners and MakeMyTrip which has acquired 56.7 percent and 19.9 percent respectively.

While in June 2015, phone maker Micromax has picked up a stake in the company by investing about US$4 million. However, the three existing investors did not participate this time around in the last Series B round.

Founded in 2007 by Bajpai and Rajnish Kumar, Ixigo acts like a meta search engine for online travel agents such as MakeMyTrip and Goibibo. The company is said to have processed transactions worth Rs 300 crore during the financial year of 2015.

Besides, the Gurgaon-based company has also recently started taking bookings through its app as well as entering the cabs metasearch space where it works with Ola, Uber, among other to find the best options for commuters.

Fosun, on the other hand, has set up its India team last year to invest in domestic firms. Raisurana, an ex-MD at Standard Chartered Private Equity, Tej Kapoor, former Naspers executive, and Ajay Lakhotia, who was earlier India head of Vertex Venture, are leading the investment team for the Chinese group in India.

The Shanghai-based group, however, has earlier endeavored in the travel industry, acquiring French holiday group Club Med in 2015 and making an investment in Thomas Cook and its public market position, MakeMyTrip.

The new team will look to make early-stage tech investments signing cheques for up to US$5-10 million, as well as take picks among more mature companies in both private and public markets.

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media