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[Health Science domain]

The KIRIN HEALTH INNOVATION FUND Invests In BackTech, Developer Of Pocket Therapist® , A Labor Productivity Improvement Support Service For Employees

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November 11, 2022

Kirin Holdings Company, Limited

TOKYO, November 11, 2022 – The KIRIN HEALTH INNOVATION FUND, a corporate venture capital (CVC)*1 fund founded by Kirin Holdings Company, Limited (Kirin Holdings) and Global Brain Corporation, (Global Brain) a leading independent venture capital firm, has invested in BackTech, Inc. (BackTech).
1 The practice of an operating company investing its corporate funds directly in an external startup company aligned with its business lines, intended to establish a mutually beneficial relationship or launch a new business by leveraging the latter’s assets.

About BackTech, Inc.

BackTech is a start-up company that provides the "Pocket Therapist®" well-being platform for companies promoting health management, starting with stiff shoulders and back pain countermeasures. Based on medical evidence developed by the founder at Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, this service is a health management solution for corporate clients that provides comprehensive support from visualization of work engagement and labor productivity to measures for physical issues such as stiff shoulders and back pain as well as mental issues.
Employees of companies that have introduced "Pocket Therapist®" can easily receive optimal support online based on a unique algorithm that checks their stiff shoulders and back pain types. Companies that have introduced the system can promote health management initiatives while visualizing the benefits, such as reductions in medical costs and changes in labor productivity.

Initiatives to Improve Labor Productivity

In recent years, improving employee labor productivity has been an important theme for companies promoting health management, and presenteeism*3 has been attracting attention as a condition of declining labor productivity. It has been reported that chronic physical pain (stiff shoulders, back pain, etc.) and mental illness are the main causes of low labor productivity in companies*4. It is also said that 60-80% of high-stress individuals suffer from chronic pain such as stiff shoulders and back pain. *5 BackTech is working to support companies in improving labor productivity by helping employees’ body and mind, with the aim of acquiring lifestyle habits that enable them to manage chronic pain such as stiff shoulders and back pain, as well as mental health issues, and improve their well-being*6.
3 Workers who are present at work but whose work efficiency has dropped due to some health issue.
4 Source: Nagata T, et al. J Occup Environ Med. 2018
5 Source: Williams LS, et al. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2003
6 Source: Odake Y. Fukutani N, et al. Environ Occup Health Prac. 2021

Purpose of Establishing the KIRIN HEALTH INNOVATION FUND

Through the KIRIN HEALTH INNOVATION FUND, Kirin Holdings intends to invest in startups around the globe that have innovative technologies and business models for resolving health issues, and to leverage their advanced health science technologies and solutions for improving customer experience. By combining the Kirin Group’s wealth of assets and competence in health science with innovations and technologies that startups will bring to partnerships, Kirin Holdings will be better able to bolster its existing Food & Beverages domain as well as step up efforts to launch new businesses in its Health Science domain.

Supplementary Information


(registered as KIRIN and GB Investment Limited Partnership)
Primary sector for investment Startups around the globe operating in the health science domain
Established March 2020
AUM 5 billion yen
Investment period 10 years
General partner Global Brain Inc.

(2) About Global Brain

Company name Global Brain Corporation
Head office 10-11 Sakuragaokacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan
President Yasuhiko Yurimoto
Established January 1998
Primary business Venture capital business
URL https://globalbrains.com/en

(3) About BackTech

Company Name BackTech Inc.
Location 680-1, Ohmandokoro-cho, Bukkōji-sagaru, Karasuma-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
representative Naoto Fukutani, President and Representative Director
Establishment April 2016
Business Well-being platform "Pocket Therapist®" and other services centered on shoulder stiffness and back pain countermeasures
URL https://www.backtech.co.jp/

About Kirin Holdings

Kirin Holdings Company, Limited is an international company that operates in the Food & Beverages domain (Food & Beverages businesses), Pharmaceuticals domain (Pharmaceuticals businesses), and Health Science domain (Health Science business), both in Japan and across the globe.

Kirin Holdings can trace its roots to Japan Brewery which was established in 1885. Japan Brewery became Kirin Brewery in 1907. Since then, the company expanded its business with fermentation and biotechnology as its core technologies, and entered the pharmaceutical business in the 1980s, all of which continue to be global growth centers. In 2007, Kirin Holdings was established as a pure holding company and is currently focusing on boosting its Health Science domain.

Under the Kirin Group Vision 2027 (KV 2027), a long-term management plan launched in 2019, the Kirin Group aims to become A global leader in CSV*, creating value across our world of Food & Beverages to Pharmaceuticals. Going forward, the Kirin Group will continue to leverage its strengths to create both social and economic value through its businesses, with the aim of achieving sustainable growth in corporate value.

* Creating Shared Value. Combined added value for consumers as well as for society at large.


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