Beatrobo's PlugAir Raises $1.1MM Investment from Lawson HMV Entertainment
Deal grants Lawson exclusive manufacturing rights to cloud-based device
TOKYO, May 30, 2014-- Japan-based technology company Beatrobo announced that it has closed a $1.1MM investment with Lawson HMV Entertainment, the entertainment division of one of Japan’s biggest retailers, Lawson Inc, and Genuine Startups, a Japanese venture capital known for running the leading seed accelerator Movida Japan. This deal will grant Lawson the exclusive rights to manufacture PlugAir, a small device that connects to a mobile app to unlock cloud-stored content.
The patent-pending technology functions by converting sound waves into electric power and data. This embedded microchip in the PlugAir device authenticates each mobile phone and unlocks the associated content from the cloud. Content creators will be able to remotely update their fans’ PlugAir, allowing for a constant stream of new and exclusive content.
“We are extremely excited to be working with such a well respected brand such as Lawson. Their understanding of manufacturing and distribution will help us take PlugAir to the next level,” says Hiroshi Asaeda, founder and CEO of Beatrobo.
“Working with Hiroshi has been both a multi-national and multi-disciplinary collaboration. His understanding of the technology really helped inform our approach in developing the PlugAir brand,” says Kiel Berry, Executive Vice President of Machine Shop.
PlugAir made its US debut in December of last year through a partnership with Los Angeles-based think tank, Machine Shop. Machine Shop helped redesign PlugAir and position it to appeal to a larger consumer base. The first major launch of the product came via a custom edition device for Grammy award-winning rock band LINKIN PARK. The device unlocked exclusive videos, unreleased tracks, apps, and merchandise for the band’s member community, Linkin Park Underground (LPU).
“We like innovative ways to distribute exclusive content to our fans,” says Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park. “We’re always looking for new and exciting ways to interact with the LPU community, so PlugAir makes perfect sense.”
PlugAir can also be seamlessly embedded into existing products, which is perhaps a significant growth prospect and motivation behind retail giant Lawson’s investment. The future is wide open for PlugAir, as it provides an opportunity to reinvigorate and digitize traditional analog merchandise. Possible use cases include: key chains, retail hangtags, and toys (allowing children to unlock educational games and video content).
For more information, visit plugair.com.
To download high-resolution photos, please visit: http://we.tl/4nIKM9HsoM
Beatrobo is a mobile app development company based in Tokyo, with experience in social gaming and robotics. They have been featured in Wired, TechCrunch, and Mashable.
About Lawson HMV Entertainment
Lawson HMV Entertainment, Inc. runs Lawson Ticket, Japan’s largest ticket agency and owns the music store HMV Japan, with over 50 stores around Japan. Lawson HMV Entertainment, Inc. is a group company of Lawson, a convenience store franchise chain with over 10,000 stores in Japan. The Japanese company has its headquarters in East Tower of Gate City Ohsaki in Ōsaki, Shinagawa, Tokyo.
About Machine Shop
Machine Shop is a think tank and creative studio based in Beverly Hills, California. Leveraging a unique reach in global entertainment and design, Machine Shop specializes in helping develop new products, creating brand identity and analyzing market opportunities.
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