POL, a startup based in Tokyo operating human resource database LabBase announced on Monday that it has secured 50 million yen (about US$425K) for its seed funding round.
The company’s valuation and investment ratios were not disclosed. But it is revealed that early stage venture capital Beenext had led the round, along with the participation from CyberAgent Ventures, Draper Nexus, Beyond Next Ventures and other undisclosed angel investors.
LabBase was founded in September 2016 by Michiaki Kamo, a second-year student at the University of Tokyo’s Natural Sciences II program, to correct the imbalances in supply and demand for science students seeking employment as well as those looking to employ them.
This is because convenient employment marketplaces for graduating students like job hunting sites and job fairs are mostly taken up by positions for business and humanities major like admin and sales. Only a remaining 20 percent are looking for graduating students from the sciences major.
In order to solve such a problem, LabBase was created as a specialized platform for science students. It provides an environment where students can create an Academia profile to connect with interested companies. Students can also build their portfolio by including work such as research portfolios, papers, presentation history at academic societies, and contents of experiments, among some.
LabBase has opened its pre-registration for companies since December last year, and within these five months, the platform has connected with more than 100 companies which include Amazon web services, news curation startup Gunosy, and healthcare startup Cykinso, among some.
On the other end, the platform has also gathered 550 users with 90 percent of the science students from the University of Tokyo, Tohoku University, Hokkaido University, the University of Tsukuba, Kyoto University, and Osaka University.
In the United States, LabBase models after lab tech startups like ResearchGate, Figshare, The Center for Open Science, Science Exchange, and Quartzy. While in Japan, the lab tech startup faces competition from Acaric.
However, market share in Japan has not been wholly dominated. To stand up against competition, POL will use the funds received this round to strengthen the platform’s system development process.
By Vivian Foo, VCNewsNetwork