NEWS

2021.11.02

Craif Secures Series B Funding
to Accelerate R&D for the Roll-Out of a New Cancer Test

Craif Inc. (Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan, President & CEO: Ryuichi Onose, “Craif”) today announces that it has conducted a private placement of new shares led by Daiwa Corporate Investment Co., Ltd. and backed by Aflac Ventures LLC, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd. and MTG Ventures, Inc. Craif plans to raise additional finance and complete its Series B funding round within this fiscal year.

From left to right: Takao Yasui (Scientific Adviser and Co-Founder), Ryuichi Onose (President and CEO), Mika Mizunuma (Chief Operating Officer), and Yuki Ichikawa (Chief Technology Officer)

■The Purpose of this Funding
As a startup incubated at Nagoya University, Craif has developed a urinary biomarker discovery platform by capturing exosomes comprehensively from urine samples with microfabrication technology and by leveraging AI. With this innovative platform, Craif is proactively working to address various issues associated with cancer diagnosis and treatment. The funds will be used for the practical application of a new cancer test that enables “early detection from a single drop of urine,” as well as to further accelerate and enhance clinical research and development of an effective testing method to realize a “tailored treatment for each individual patient”.

■The Participating Investors
<New Investors>
Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan, President & CEO: Shinichi Hirose)
MTG Ventures, Inc. (Headquarters: Aichi, Japan, President & CEO: Go Fujita)

<Existing Investors>
Daiwa Corporate Investment Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan, President & CEO: Kiyohisa Hirano)
Aflac Ventures LLC (Headquarters: Georgia, USA, President: Nadeem Khan)
(Engages in investment activities with support from Aflac Innovation Partners G.K.)

■Comments from the Investors (The Reason Behind the Investment and Their Expectations)

Masaru Kusutani, Head of Digital Innovation, Tokio Marine Holdings, Inc.
Craif is a company that values the perspective of patients and endeavors to reduce patients’ anxiety over medical tests. We believe this mindset is similar to our group’s management philosophy which puts our customers’ trust at the heart of our business. Craif’s technology allows for a pain-free, highly accurate cancer detection with only a small amount of urine. We aim to spread this technology to improve cancer prevention and detection, and further contribute to extending healthy life expectancy and longevity of Japanese citizens.

Go Fujita, President, MTG Ventures, Inc.
MTG group’s corporate vision is “VITAL LIFE— We will help create a world where everyone lives a happy, beautiful and active life.” We have decided to support Craif, a startup which provides next-generation biomarker analysis service, because we strongly empathized with the company’s vision, “we ensure lifelong health for everyone.” MTG Group will fully back Craif, and we are excited to take part in developing innovative technology to detect diseases from urine and help people maintain their health.

Kiyohisa Hirano, President & CEO, Daiwa Corporate Investment Co., Ltd.
We were surprised by how fast the team prepared for the launch of the service and they have exceeded our expectations. As announced in Craif’s news releases, the company has been working on multiple joint research projects and has recently welcomed some new and impressive members to the team.
Non-invasive, highly accurate cancer detection that requires only a small amount of sample is a long-awaited solution for everyone. Craif’s business aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals that we support, and the team has provided enough reasons for us to participate again in this new round.
We will continue to provide our full support to Craif in ensuring lifelong health for everyone.

Tomoyuki Shimada, Managing Director, Aflac Innovation Partners G.K.
(Supports investment activities of Aflac Ventures LLC)

Aflac Life Insurance Japan Ltd., our group insurance company, is working to build a new platform called the “Cancer Ecosystem.” It serves as a collaborative platform that supports alignment and coordination across various stakeholders including cancer patients and their family as well as relevant medical workers, staff at their workplaces and schools, government agencies, private institutions and companies to address any physical, medical, psychological, and mental issues faced by cancer patients, and to comprehensively combat social issues regarding labor, income, and other crucial matters. Craif has been working to put its cancer detection technology into practical use and we believe that it has a strong affinity with our initiatives. Through this investment, we will support Craif’s efforts while also contributing to the development of Aflac Life Insurance’s Cancer Ecosystem.