top of page

MUSE raises 570 million yen in funding,Store Robot "Armo" begins operation at Belc Stores in June

MUSE, Inc. (Head office: Tokyo, Japan, President and CEO: Yasutaka Kasagi) has raised a total of 570 million yen from 11 VCs, operating companies, and financial institutions. The funds raised will be used to accelerate the development of the store robot "Armo" services. Belc (Head office: Tsurugashima-shi, Saitama, President: Kazumasa Harashima) who had started a pilot test of Armo since December 2023, sequentially begins Armo’s daily operations at Wako Nishiyamato and Kita-Sakado stores in Saitama Prefecture from this June. 

MUSE will realize "a society where people and robots can coexist with robots optimized for stores. 

The global pandemic has brought about significant changes in our society. Against the backdrop of an accelerating decline in the working population, robots are becoming increasingly popular, especially in the logistics and manufacturing industries, for the purpose of being fully automated and unmanned. On the other hand, we believe that what is important for robots to play an active role closer to the public area in the future is "how the people who use robots will be changed. 

We developed store robot "Armo," that inspires humans by placing above all else the power of inherent human nature, creativity, inspiration, gentleness, and communication with others, all of which are essential elements in our daily lives. 

Armo is not only compact and low cost, but its greatest feature is that it can be connected to multiple expansion units within a store for multi-purpose. 

 In addition, the robot can be used for a wide range of marketing activities, such as creating and analyzing a database of valuable information on the sales floor, mainly product shelves, and providing a "new store experience" for retail stores. It is a robot that "provides a new in-store experience" for retail stores. 

■Outline of Funding

VC/business companies/financial institutions

Equity finance

Incubate Fund Corporation (second additional investment) 

XTech Ventures, Inc. (second additional investment) 

Norinchukin Innovation Investment Limited Partnership (GP: Global Brain Corporation) 

Spiral Capital Corporation 

Toshiba Tec Corporation 

Canal Ventures, Inc. 

Mitsubishi HC Capital Co. 

Mizuho Capital Co. 

Yamaguchi Capital Co. 

Debt finance

Japan Finance Corporation 

Mizuho Bank, Ltd. 

■Message from each investor

Keisuke Wada, Managing Partner, Incubate Fund Inc.

MUSE is a startup founded by Mr. Kasagi, who has extensive knowledge and experience in the field of robotics, to provide a new store experience using robots. We expect their store robot, Armo to save manpower and reduce labor costs, as well as the addition of new value, the creation of sales database, and to achieve excellent cost effectiveness. After the initial investment in 2022, MUSE has continued to make a significant progress in cooperation with their clients and many other stakeholders, and we, Incubate Fund will continue to fully support MUSE growth. 

Hiromasa Takamoto, Investment Manager, XTech Ventures, Inc.

I am very pleased to have invested in this company again, following on the previous Seed funding. We spent the time together in a shared office during the start-up period, and I am deeply impressed by the fact that the beta edition of the product at the time has become a wonderful product with a lovely appearance and high performance. It has come this far in the blink of an eye. I am confident that the day will come soon when Armo would be in use in all kinds of stores along with our daily life. We will keep supporting MUSE! 

Hiroki Kawabata, Deputy General Manager, Corporate Design Department, The Norinchukin Bank

We are convinced that the multi-use store robot offered by MUSE will be an effective solution that contributes to labor savings and productivity improvement, especially in the local retail industries with a serious shortage of labor. I look forward to contributing to the revitalization of local economies in collaboration with the nationwide retail business infrastructure of Norinchukin and the JA Group, as well as helping Mr. Kasagi, an entrepreneur, to realize his vision of a future pioneered by robotics. 

Keisuke Tatsuoka, General Partner and Lusheng Zou, Director, Global Brain Corporation

We believe that the multi-use robot and data platform developed by MUSE has the potential to play a significant role in reducing labor shortages and improving customer engagement in retail stores. We have made this lead investment with the expectation that robots will be seamlessly implemented into retail store operations in collaboration and coexistence with people, led by a team with extensive experience in robot development, mass production, and sales. We will continue to support this project by leveraging our resources with our network. 

Takashi Chiba, General Partner, Spiral Capital K.K.

Since I was paired with Mr. Kasagi at the Incubate Camp last October 2023, I have wanted to invest in MUSE for sure, so I am very happy to be able to participate as a co-lead investor in MUSE. We are looking forward to seeing MUSE growth to provide infrastructure services for retailers around the world who are struggling with labor shortages. 

Atsushi Torii, Manager, CVC Office, Corporate Planning Department, Toshiba TEC Corporation

We have invested in this project because we highly appreciate the functions and service design for multiple uses of robots in retail stores, as well as Mr. Kasagi and his team specialized in robotics. We believe that the use of robots in retail stores will become indispensable in the future with a declining workforce. We are confident that we can solve this major challenge facing the retail industry, together with MUSE.

Ryosuke Matsuoka, President, Canal Ventures, Inc.

As the use of robots continues to advance, we expect that MUSE will be able to open up the untapped market for robots in retail stores. The data acquired from Armo will be even more effective when integrated with all kinds of data, and we are very pleased to be working together with MUSE in the future on the utilization and development. As a member of the MUSE team, we will do our utmost to challenge for the realization of a society where humans and robots coexist in harmony. 

Takashi Saeki, General Manager, Robotics Business Development Department, Sales & Marketing Division, Mitsubishi HC Capital Corporation

In April of this year, we established the Robotics Business Development Department with the aim of providing innovative services to increase productivity through the use of robots in order to solve the labor shortage as a social issue. We share MUSE policy of "taking on the challenge of building a complete new customer’s value through robotics technology," and through our partnership, we hope to create a sustainable and prosperous future by realizing automation solutions that are easy for customers to adopt in order to solve retail store issues. 

Masaki Naito, General Manager, Investment Department 1, Mizuho Capital Co.

We believe that "Armo", a store robot developed by Mr. Kasaki and other members of our company, who are passionate about the robot business and have a wealth of knowledge, experience, and know-how, can contribute to solving the problems of many retailers both in Japan and overseas with its innovative concept of low cost and multiple uses. Since Mizuho has business relationships with many retailers, we would like to help them through the world with "Armo". 

Ryota Yamaguchi, Director, Yamaguchi Capital Co.

I am very pleased to join MUSE as an investor. When I first heard Mr. Kasagi's presentation, I was strongly interested in investing in MUSE because of his passion for robotics and his outstanding business model based on his industry experience. I was convinced that MUSE's solutions would revolutionize the retail industry. We will continue to contribute to business growth by fully utilizing the Yamaguchi Financial Group's network toward the realization of a society where people and robots coexist. 

■Reinforcement of Recruitment

With the expansion of our business through this funding, we are especially looking for positions in Business Development and Customer Success. For more information, please visit the following website. 

■ About MUSE

MUSE, Inc. was established with the mission of "Inspiring people around the world with robots," with the idea of shining a light on the "people" who use robots and bringing inspiration to the true power of human beings (creativity, inspiration, kindness, and communication). Our goal is not only to save manpower and reduce labor costs, which are the main purposes of introducing conventional robots, but also to develop products that provide various added values by pursuing the "+α" that is more demanded of robots. 

Company Profile

Company name: MUSE, Inc. 

Office: Yaesu 3-6-18, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 

Tokyo Tatemono Kyobashi Bldg. 4F xBridge-Kyobashi 

Founder/CEO: Yasutaka Kasagi 

Business activities: Development and sales of robots for retail stores 

Establishment: April 2022 

Store Robot Armo


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page