ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Business

KKR founders fund Japanese developer of laundry-folding robot

Seven Dreamers Laboratories aims to automate the entire laundry process

The clothes-folding robot will be launched before the end of March 2018.

TOKYO -- A Japanese startup that has developed a laundry-folding robot has received 2.5 billion yen ($22.8 million) in funding from a number of big-name investors, including two founders of U.S. investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.

Seven Dreamers Laboratories aims to commercialize the Laundroid, the world's first robot of its kind, by the end of fiscal 2017. All users need to do is throw in their clothes, and the machine automatically folds each piece.

KKR founders Henry Kravis and George Roberts, as well as Chinese investment company Fosun International and Japanese logistics provider Suzuyo, were among those who agreed to a private placement of new shares. The company will use the money to expand its sales network and on new technology. It is rare for prominent foreign investors to directly fund a Japanese appliance venture.

Seven Dreamers has also received research and development funding from Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, as well as investment from Panasonic and Daiwa House Industry. The startup has raised more than 10 billion yen since it was founded in 2014.

Other Seven Dreamers products include carbon golf club shafts and a device to help users breathe while sleeping. Kravis apparently took an interest in the company after using its golf shafts.

The startup aims eventually to automate the entire process of doing laundry. It will partner with Panasonic to create an updated Laundroid that can also wash and dry clothes. It also hopes to work with Daiwa House on a system to automatically put away the clean and folded clothes.

(Nikkei)

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends January 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more