Asics Ventures, an investment subsidiary of Japanese sporting goods giant Asics, has made its first investment, taking a stake in AI Silk Corporation, a venture company affiliated with Tohoku University that develops conductive textiles.
Founded in 2015, AI Silk specialises in conductive textiles that are comfortable on the skin, utilising technology researched by Tohoku University. While many devices that gather the body’s data from the skin tend to irritate the wearer when used over extended periods of time, AI Silk says it has developed a proprietary silk textile conductive technology that is more gentle.
According to the firm, the fabric is highly absorbent, causes limited allergic reaction, and permits high conductivity, while data gathering is “extremely user-friendly”.
Asics says the proprietary technology will be used together with expertise from the company’s Institute of Sport Science in developing sports apparel made of high-performance materials.
The sportswear firm says it plans to pursue further sustainable growth by working together with companies discovered by Asics Ventures to create value and by developing new businesses.