AET Fund diversifies investments in VR, cloud technology, AI capabilities

Akatsuki Entertainment Technology Fund, which already has investments in esports organization FaZe Clan and the mobile gaming app Bunch, has announced investments in cloud-based retail experiences, VR treatment for chronic pain, and an AI-based video editing system, among other ventures.

Akatsuki Entertainment Technology Fund is diversifying its portfolio with a new $50 million fund spread across several revolutionary start-ups. The new investments, which range from VR software for medical use to AI-assisted video editing, rounds out the company's current offerings in the tech and gaming sectors.

In a press release obtained by GameDaily.biz, AET Fund revealed that it has invested in five new start-ups. These include cloud shopping voice-activated smart speaker retail company Blutag, a VR-based chronic pain management company called Karuna, livestream shopping experience app Popshop, rideshare music sampling program Steereo, and an AI-assisted video editing app called TRASH. These five companies reflect Akatsuki's "mission of creating a heart-driven world," the press release explains, as the fund prefers investing in companies that "foster happiness and an overall positive well-being."

“AET Fund invests in startups that bring color, positive well-being, and new forms of media and entertainment to consumers,” AET Fund's Mark Linao said in the press release. “We leverage our deep expertise in in-app monetization, immersive experience development, vibrant community creation, and IP development to help our portfolio companies maximize growth, scalability and market opportunities that help their businesses thrive.”

AET Fund is a part of Akatsuki, which was founded in Japan during 2010. The parent company remains well known in mobile gaming for its work on the hit smartphone title Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle, which the company co-developed with Bandai Namco. Other popular mobile apps include The New Prince of Tennis: RisingBeat and THE iDOLM@STER SideM LIVE ON ST@GE!, which are both based internationally successful anime franchises.

In comparison, AET Fund is relatively new, with the venture capital organization founded just two years ago in October 2017. That said, the firm has already landed itself an impressive portfolio. This includes two investments in the gaming industry: Bunch, an app that lets mobile gamers play titles with each other while on a voice call, and the famous esports organization FaZe Clan. Alongside both companies, AET Fund also has a stake in the feminist-themed professional female empowerment organization Girlboss and the influencer app HipDot.

With AET Fund’s recent push toward a diverse, well-rounded tech portfolio, the company clearly seems interested in start-ups that can revolutionize VR, cloud-based, and livestreaming technology that could be reapplied into the gaming world. For a company founded just two years ago, its growing portfolio suggests AET Fund is here to stay in the tech, gaming, and smart retail sectors.

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Ana Valens is a games journalist from Brooklyn, New York. Her coverage at GameDaily.biz specializes in player-developer relations, long-term business trends, and gender issues in the gaming industry. Alongside her frequent contributions to GameDaily, her work has appeared at the Daily Dot, Dot Esports, Waypoint, Rolling Stone's Glixel, and Fanbyte.

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