NTT flashes the cash again with another UK investment

  • NTT DoCoMo Ventures buys into Senseye
  • Funding will enable UK predictive maintenance firm to expand into Japan
  • Japanese telco invests alongside domestic peer Sony Innovation Fund

Hot on the heels of its participation in GeoSpock's latest funding round, NTT DoCoMo Ventures has announced an investment in another UK-based tech start-up, Senseye.

DoCoMo's investment arm has ploughed money into Senseye alongside fellow Japanese firm Sony Corp's Sony Innovation Fund. Neither company, nor Senseye itself, disclosed the value of the investment. Senseye said its existing investors also supported the funding round; it is backed by UK venture capital firms MMC and IQ Capital, and IoT investor Breed Reply.

The investment round will fund Senseye's expansion into Japan, the company said, where DoCoMo already has plans for the pair to work together in the provision of services to the manufacturing sector.

"We look to Japan for inspiration in manufacturing excellence. Indeed, we derived Senseye from the Japanese word 'sensei' to highlight that connection," said Senseye chief executive Simon Kampa. (In English, sensei means 'teacher,' particularly of martial arts.)

Senseye's flagship product is its predictive maintenance solution, or PdM, a cloud-based, data analytics tool that has been deployed by companies in the automotive, food and beverage, packaging, and metals and mining sectors. It uses artificial intelligence to analyse data in real time, thereby helping customers avoid downtime, streamline spare parts inventories and reduce maintenance costs.

"We are impressed by Senseye's asset and data-agnostic approach, allowing their solution to be used on any machine and therefore significantly lowering the implementation barrier for factories of all scale," said Takayuki Inagawa, President and CEO of NTT DoCoMo Ventures, in a statement.

"Beyond our investment, we look forward to promoting a partnership between Senseye and NTT DoCoMo's innovative 5G industrial platform, enabling both mid and large tier industrial businesses to accelerate their digital journeys."

In a separate announcement, NTT said it hopes that investing in Senseye will aid it in its ongoing efforts in providing services to the manufacturing industry in Japan; NTT DoCoMo brought its own predictive maintenance solution, known as FAAP, to market in June.

- Mary Lennighan, special to TelecomTV

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