Japan’s ZMP to launch IPO in coming months

The startup plans on releasing a fleet of self-driving taxis for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

ZMP Inc, a Japanese robotics startup is set to be listed in the Tokyo Stock Exchange in the coming months.

In 2016, ZMP was all set for its initial public offering, but it had to postpone since a client’s information for leaked onto the net.

According to Hisashi Taniguchi, ZMP’s CEO, the company has ironed out internal security issues following the leak of client information, just days ahead of its listing.

This year however, the company’s $82 million IPO is on track.

“We’re developing our security systems in-house, which will take some time, but this is not the sort of thing that takes a year to develop,” said Taniguchi. “When we’re happy with our security system, then we’ll re-submit our listing application.”

The company is aiming to develop a self-driving taxi for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Despite losing a partnership contract last month with gaming software developer DeNa Co, Taniguchi has stated ZMP will push ahead to develop self-driving taxi technology.

“At the moment our (taxi) plans are on track. We started testing on public roads last year, so we don’t want to rush anything,” said Taniguchi.

DeNa has partnered with Nissan Motor Co to develop autonomous driving technology.

ZMP’s autonomous driving tech relies on lasers and stereo cameras. It plans on selling the technology to automakers and mobility service providers.

In a country which has a fascinating relationship with robotics and has a strong car manufacturing base, ZMP is one of the few domestic startups which is competing with foreign tech firms to bring out self-driving technology to the masses.

ZMP also manufactures automated dolly carts and drones.

($1 = 112.6300 yen)

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