Sakana AI, a Tokyo-based artificial intelligence (AI) research company, has successfully raised $30 million in a seed funding round. The company is pioneering the development of nature-inspired AI, with a focus on creating new types of foundational models. The name “Sakana” is derived from the Japanese word for fish, symbolizing the company’s approach to AI development, which draws inspiration from natural phenomena such as evolution and collective intelligence.
The seed funding round attracted significant interest from both global and Japanese investors. Top Silicon Valley venture capital firms participated, marking a rare occurrence for a Japanese startup at the seed stage. The company also received strong backing from the Japanese tech ecosystem, with investments from NTT Group, KDDI CVC, and Sony Group. Prominent angel investors, including Jeff Dean, Clem Delangue of Hugging Face, and Alex Wang of Scale AI, also contributed to the funding round.
Other notable participants in the funding round included 500 Global, Miyako Capital, Basis Set Ventures, JAFCO, July Fund, Geodesic Capital, and Learn Capital. The company’s unique approach to AI development, which diverges from the conventional focus on transformer architectures, was a key factor in attracting these investors.
Sakana AI’s founders have a proven track record in AI development and are committed to setting new trends in the field. The company has already announced a research partnership with NTT and is poised to make a significant impact on the market with its innovative approach to AI