Dentsu invests $3 million in US social robotics start-up Jibo

MUMBAI: Dentsu Inc’s corporate venture capital fund Ventures Global Fund I has made an investment of $3 million in US social robot development startup Jibo, Inc.

Dentsu Ventures has acquired Series A preference shares of Jibo through third-party allocation of shares.

Dentsu Ventures was established in April 2015 armed with a total fund capital of ?5 billion. The objectives was to invest in ambitious start-up companies with a focus on the US, Europe and Asia region, which will create an as yet unseen future and furthering open innovation across the Dentsu Group through collaboration with investees.

In addition to funding, Dentsu Ventures will support businesses and entrepreneurs by providing problem-solving solutions and resources that are unique to the Group. Its first project is Jibo, Inc.

Jibo, Inc. was founded by Dr. Cynthia Breazeal, professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and recognized as a pioneer of social robotics. The Jibo social robot incorporates voice and emotion recognition, natural language processing, machine learning and expressive display and movement, and is designed to achieve companionship and rapport among family members.

Dentsu Ventures believes that Jibo will continue to develop into a new type of medium that will bring fundamental changes to the way information is assimilated, and that it has the potential to function as an infrastructure and communication hub in a smart home.

Looking ahead, the Dentsu Group will also provide support for the development, promotion and spread of Jibo worldwide as well as the new business opportunities that Jibo will bring in the future.

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