Preferred Networks raises a total of over 2 billion yen from FANUC, Hakuhodo DYHD, Hitachi, Mizuho Bank, and Mitsui & Co.
December 11, 2017, Tokyo Japan – Preferred Networks, Inc. (PFN, Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, President and CEO: Toru Nishikawa) has agreed to allocate new shares in December 2017 to Hakuhodo DY Holdings Inc. (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo, President and CEO: Hirokazu Toda), Hitachi, Ltd. (Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, President and CEO: Toshiaki Higashihara), Mizuho Bank, Ltd. (Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, President and CEO: Koji Fujiwara) and Mitsui & Co., LTD. (Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, President and CEO: Tatsuo Yasunaga). PFN will receive an investment of about 500 million yen from each of them.
Similarly, FANUC CORPORATION (FANUC, Headquarters: Oshino-mura, Yamanashi Prefecture, Chairman and CEO: Yoshiharu Inaba) has also agreed to acquire additional shares of PFN for about 500 million yen. FANUC and PFN formed an R&D alliance in June 2015 and a capital alliance in August of the same year.
With these deals, PFN will complete a series of fund-raising activities since the additional investment of about 10.5 billion yen from Toyota Motor Corporation, which was announced in August 2017.
PFN will use the raised capital to strengthen its financial base, improve computing resources, and hire talented people while collaborating with each of the investing companies in respective fields for growth over the mid- to long-term.
PFN will strive to drive innovation not only in the fields of transportation system, manufacturing, and bio/healthcare but in a broad range of business areas to increase its corporate value.
We received comments from the companies investing in PFN.
“FANUC will apply Preferred Networks’ cutting-edge machine-learning and deep-learning techniques to our FIELD system* and all the other products to provide the most effective production system that processes information quickly and in real time at the edges of machining and assembly lines in production sites, enabling machines to collaborate with each other in a flexible and smart way.”
Chairman and CEO of FANUC
*FANUC Intelligent Edge Link and Drive system is an open platform to optimize manufacturing by interconnecting various devices in production sites and is available for a variety of companies to join.
“I have high expectations that we can create innovative solutions and services by combining Preferred Networks’ deep learning and other machine-learning techniques and implementation capabilities, and Hakuhodo DY Group’s proprietary data and creativity in the fields of advertising, marketing, media, and content. We will, in collaboration with Preferred Networks, promote the fusion of creativity and technology for implementation in the real world and realize innovations that make life richer and more enjoyable.”
President and CEO of Hakuhodo DY Holdings
“Hitachi is utilizing leading-edge technologies, including IoT and AI, and enhancing collaborative creation with various partners in the Social Innovation Business. Taking the investment as an opportunity to combine the strengths of both companies such as Preferred Networks’ knowledge of deep learning and Hitachi’s technology and know-how in the integration of OT, IT, and products, we will begin collaborative creation towards the realization of Society 5.0.”
Representative Executive Officer, Executive Vice President and Executive Officer of Hitachi
“Preferred Networks is a leading company in the industry that has a high level of AI technology. Through the new partnership with Preferred Networks, Mitsui will not only promote higher operation efficiency and higher value added of our global business assets but also accelerate Digital Transformation activities that lead to the creation of new businesses with the aim of strengthening competitiveness.”
Representative Director, Executive Managing Officer, and Chief Digital Officer of Mitsui & Co.
Hitachi Invests in Preferred Networks
Mitsui to Invest in AI Company Preferred Networks, Inc.
◆ About Preferred Networks, Inc.
Founded in March 2014 with the aim of promoting business utilization of deep learning technology focused on IoT, PFN advocates Edge Heavy Computing as a way to handle the enormous amounts of data generated by devices in a distributed and collaborative manner at the edge of the network, driving innovation in various fields, with a focus on three business areas: transportation, manufacturing, and bio/healthcare. PFN develops and provides Chainer®, an open source deep learning framework. PFN promotes advanced initiatives by collaborating with world leading organizations, such as Toyota Motor Corporation, FANUC CORPORATION, and the National Cancer Center. (https://www.preferred-networks.jp/en/)
*Company names and product names written in this release are the trademarks or the registered trademarks of each company.