Keep raised funds from Vision Fund 2

On February 8th 2021, Son Masayoshi, who is a Japanese billionaire, attended SoftBank’s quarterly presentation. As of February 10th 2021, he is the founder and CEO of the Japanese holding company SoftBank.

At the meeting, he explained the recent activities in SoftBank Vision Fund business. Also, he referred to five companies that its second fund invested in. Keep was one of them, though Keep is actually not a company name but a service (App) name. SoftBank Vision Fund 2 made a decision to invest in the service in December 2020. At the same time, it means that the service has lots of potential. Before explaining Keep, let us explain who is SoftBank Vision Fund first.

Who is SoftBank Vision Fund?

SoftBank Vision Fund is a subsidiary of SoftBank (a holding company). Furthermore, it invests $100 million or more in growth stage leading companies across the globe. Industries that the fund invests in cover Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics and Communications Technology. Mobility, Computational Biology, HealthTech, Cloud Computing, Fintech and Education are also targets to be invested. More specific, the Japanese fund wants to be a catalyst to contribute to the progress of AI based technology. Thus, SoftBank (an entire group companies) will be able to expand its capabilities and improve our society.

What is Keep?

Keep is a Chinese mobile fitness app, and Beijing Calories Technology developed it. More surprisingly, college student Wang Ning established the company. The app enables users to watch fitness videos and to purchase fitness equipment as well. This means that Keep is not just personalized on-demand video app. The service also offers a social networking service, so users can share their exercises with each other.

Keep reached one million users downloads by only 105 days after its launch. What’s more, it had over 200 million users in September 2019. In December 2018, users downloaded the app 38.8 million times between July and September. In fact, this figure became “the most downloaded fitness app in China”. Therefore, these number shows how popular Keep is, especially in China. In addition, Apple Stores in China set Keep as default app in each device.

How will big data and AI revolutionize our personalized fitness?

In the quarterly presentation, Son mentioned that the Internet revolutionized only advertisement and retail industry. Furthermore, he stated that these industries accounted for small ratio of our GDP. However, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has much more potential to disrupt and improve various industries including healthcare, education, and mobility. That is why he has invested in AI based technology companies including Keep.

Of course, there are lots of rooms to improve our personalized fitness based on AI technology. However, we can expect it makes our health and life better. This is because we can digitize the data related to our health such as heart rate and blood pressure. What’s more, we can gather the data related our fitness activity like how many kilometers we run, how many times we bump, how many times we jump and others.

Therefore, it means that we can gather a lot of data in both categories. As a result, AI can find the correlation between them. This process is one of the strengths for AI, and AI actually does it better than we do. As Son mentioned above, AI based technology service including Keep will be able to be a game changer in personalized fitness world.

In other article about connectivity, we can understand how important connectivity is to disrupt many industries . Therefore, we can enhance connectivity between our activities and some devices. As a result, we can improve personalized fitness more in the future.