February 9th, 2021
AROMA BIT, INC.
EPSON X INVESTMENT CORPORATION
TECHACCEL VENTURES, LLC
Aroma Bit Receives Additional Capital Investment Funding From
EpsonXInvestment, Kyocera, and TechAccel Ventures
-Entering mass production phase for compact odor digitization sensor-
Aroma Bit, Inc., (Representative Director & CEO: Shunichiro Kuroki, headquarters: Chuo-ku, Tokyo), develops and markets compact odor imaging sensors and various related innovative services, has allocated additional shares to third-parties. The purpose of the funding is to acquire growth funds needed for future functionality enhancements of the company’s compact odor sensors and development of mass production capabilities, business development, and etc. EB-GB Limited Partnership funded by Epson X Investment Corporation (Representative Director: Yasunori Ogawa, headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo), Kyocera Corporation (President: Hideo Tanimoto, headquarters: Kyoto City, Kyoto), and TechAccel investment limited partnership 1 (fund operated by TechAccel Ventures, LLC (Functional Manager: Masatoshi Ohba, headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo)) are the investment partners participating in this new capital investment.
Aroma Bit, Inc.: http://www.aromabit.com
■Purpose and background of the increased capital investment: Support for acceleration of the compact odor sensors’ mass production and expansion of the digital odor sensing market
Aroma Bit has developed the world’s first compact odor imaging sensor that digitizes odors with visualization patterns from various odor inputs, similar to an animal’s sense of smell. It differs from conventional gas sensors, which can only detect specific substances.
Despite COVID-19, Aroma Bit has seen an increase in business negotiations with customers both in Japan and internationally accelerated by emerging trends such as smart technology, contactless technology, and digital transformation (DX).
Furthermore, the device has a wide range of applications, including the food, agriculture, daily commodities, industrial machinery, mobility, healthcare, robotics, mobile information service, home electronics, and IoT industries. With market applications exceeding initial expectations, there is considerable potential demand for odor digitization using Aroma Bit’s innovative technology.
After this third-party allocation of new shares, Aroma Bit plans to collaborate with major electronic device companies with advanced manufacturing expertise to accelerate development and mass production of compact odor sensor technologies.
Additionally, Aroma Bit plans to strengthen development of new products and services that leverage the company’s proprietary odor databases, and expand its sales and marketing worldwide.
In the future, Aroma Bit will continue to pursue its vision of “Enrich Society by Creating a World where Odors and Aromas are Visualized through Digital Odor Sensing Technology.”
■Release of development kit for silicon CMOS compact odor sensors
Aroma Bit launched its silicon CMOS sensor module development kit [5C-SSM] in January of 2021. Those sensors feature 80 elements arranged on a 6 mm x 3 mm silicon chip (5 types of odor-sensitive membrane x 16 elements per membrane). Aroma Bit Silicon Sensor Technology, Inc., a subsidiary of Aroma Bit manages sales for these devices.
With the release of the silicon CMOS odor sensor, Aroma Bit anticipates increased demand in high-volume consumer applications such as mobile devices, mobility, and home electronics, where its other QCM odor sensor use was previously difficult due to factors such as price and usage environment.
Silicon CMOS sensor module development kit [5C-SSM]
■About Aroma Bit
Aroma Bit is a company that plans, develops, and sells electronic devices such as compact odor sensors as well as innovative new services that use these devices.
Company name: Aroma Bit, Inc.
Location: Sagami Bldg. 2F, 7-13-6 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Representative: Representative Director & CEO Shunichiro Kuroki
Established: February 2014
Business: Development, production, and sales of electronic equipment and systems including compact odor imaging sensors. Planning, development, and sales of products and innovative services that use the sensor products. Other business related to the above
■About Epson X Investment
Epson X Investment Corporation is a Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) firm wholly owned by information equipment and precision instrument manufacturer Seiko Epson Corporation. It established the “EP-GB Investment Limited Partnership” with independent venture capital firm Global Brain Corporation, which has strengths in CVC operations, as general partner and is conducting investment activities.
Kyocera Corporation (TOKYO:6971, https://global.kyocera.com/), the parent and global headquarters of the Kyocera Group, was founded in 1959 as a producer of fine ceramics (also known as “advanced ceramics”). By combining these engineered materials with metals and integrating them with other technologies, Kyocera has become a leading supplier of industrial and automotive components, semiconductor packages, electronic devices, smart energy systems, printers, copiers, and mobile phones. During the year ended March 31, 2020, the company’s consolidated sales revenue totaled 1.6 trillion yen (approx. US$14.7 billion). Kyocera is ranked #549 on Forbes magazine’s 2020 “Global 2000” list of the world’s largest publicly traded companies.
■About TechAccel Ventures
TechAccel Ventures, LLC is a venture capital firm established and operated by Omron, Ricoh, and SMBC Venture Capital. It invests mainly in tech venture companies.