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Saki Corporation, an innovator in the field of automated optical and X-ray inspection equipment, has raised investment funding of 300 million yen ($2.9 million) to develop the next generation of automated inspection solutions that will power tomorrow’s Smart Factories. The funds have been raised through third-party allotment, a private placement of new shares to investors that include Kyoto University Innovation Capital Co., Ltd (KYOTO-iCAP), Nippon Venture Capital Co., Ltd (NVCC), and others.
Manufacturers of electronic systems are facing a growing need to inspect 100% of units produced, at the point of assembly, to confirm product quality. Drivers for this trend include market demands for higher levels of safety and functionality in applications such as electric vehicles (EVs) and 5G-compatible electronic modules. As electronic assemblies containing the latest component technologies become increasingly complex, high-speed automated inspection is essential to ensure repeatability and productivity.
Saki, established in 1994, supports component manufacturers striving to meet these demands. The Company develops, manufactures, and sells automated optical inspection (AOI) and X-ray inspection (AXI) equipment for the manufacture of electronic modules and has become a leader in the field. In March 2020, Saki appointed Dr. Takashi Sato, professor at the Graduate School of Informatics, Kyoto University, as Scientific Advisor. In addition, Saki has an academic mentorship agreement with Kyoto University to work on joint research projects, including the joint development of next generation X-ray inspection equipment, which aims to create solutions that can be applied in the real world.
By securing new funds, Saki is committed to an extensive investment program into the next generation automated inspection solutions and to create new and differentiated technologies that will enhance the quality of Smart Factories and strengthen its market competitiveness.
“We welcome and are grateful to our new shareholders for their support,” said. Norihiro Koike, President and CEO of Saki Corporation. “We have succeeded in expanding our capital to fund our growth and further expand our business. This marks an important milestone in our strong history which supports our development plans, helping us better meet the evolving needs of our customers.”
Ko Kusumi, president and CEO of KYOTO-iCAP, added, “Kyoto iCAP works closely with Kyoto University to help companies create new businesses that make a positive contribution to society. Saki's high-quality, reliable automated inspection systems help electronic module manufacturers automate their processes and reduce energy demands. Kyoto iCAP is delighted to support the development of Saki’s next-generation X-ray systems, which should help Saki to become a global leader in the automated inspection field.”
Minoru Tagaya, president of NVCC, said, “It is a great honor for NVCC to invest in Saki, a company that supports the digital society with its industry-leading in-line automated inspection equipment. As a venture capital firm committed to supporting Japan's next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs, NVCC will provide multifaceted support to Saki Corporation’s aim to raise the quality of social infrastructure and contribute to the realization of Smart Factories.”