Top Art & Creative Tech Startups – East Asia & Pacific 2023
From virtual reality pioneers to augmented reality trailblazers, these startups are reshaping industries, fostering new forms of expression, and connecting people in ways never imagined before. Hexgn's recognition not only celebrates the remarkable achievements of these startups but also serves as a testament to the transformative power of art and creative technology in South Asia's dynamic and evolving landscape.
Hexgn’s list of Top 10 Art & Creative Tech Startups in East Asia & Pacific for 2023 showcases the most innovative and promising companies making waves in the region’s art and creative tech scene. This carefully curated list highlights startups that are pushing boundaries, leveraging technology to revolutionize the way we experience art, entertainment, and creativity.
From virtual reality pioneers to augmented reality trailblazers, these startups are reshaping industries, fostering new forms of expression, and connecting people in ways never imagined before. Hexgn’s recognition not only celebrates the remarkable achievements of these startups but also serves as a testament to the transformative power of art and creative technology in East Asia & Pacific’s dynamic and evolving landscape.
BandLab (Singapore): Empowering Music Creation and Collaboration
BandLab Technologies, headquartered in Singapore with offices in London, Los Angeles, and Beijing, has emerged as a leading startup in the field of music creation and collaboration. With its free online cloud-based Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), BandLab offers musicians a powerful platform to create, collaborate, and share music. Its innovative features and tools have made it a popular choice among musicians of all levels. In fact, Hexgn has recognized BandLab as one of the Top 10 Art & Creative Tech Startups in East Asia & Pacific for 2023.
BandLab’s multi-track recorder sets the stage for unlimited creativity. Musicians can record and edit multiple tracks of audio simultaneously, enabling the creation of complex and layered music compositions. This feature empowers artists to experiment with different sounds and arrangements, giving their music a professional touch.
The built-in synthesizer offered by BandLab opens up a world of electronic sounds. Musicians can customize and create their own unique sounds, adding depth and versatility to their compositions. This feature allows artists to explore new genres and experiment with various musical styles, making BandLab an essential tool for the modern music creator.
BandLab understands the importance of finding the right sounds to complement a musical vision. With its extensive library of royalty-free loops and samples, artists have access to a vast collection of high-quality sounds. Whether it’s drums, percussion, vocals, or instruments, musicians can easily browse and select the perfect sounds to elevate their compositions. This feature saves time and effort, providing endless inspiration for aspiring artists.
BandLab goes beyond being a mere DAW; it has created a vibrant social media platform for musicians. Users can connect with other musicians, share their work, and seek feedback. This thriving community fosters collaboration and networking opportunities, allowing artists to grow their skills and expand their musical horizons.
The ability to connect with like-minded individuals makes BandLab a valuable resource for musicians seeking artistic growth and exposure. One of the Top 10 Art & Creative Tech Startups in East Asia & Pacific for 2023, BandLab continues to empower artists, enabling them to express their creativity, collaborate with others, and share their musical journeys with the world.
Rario (Singapore): Revolutionizing Cricket Collectibles with NFTs
Rario, a Singapore-based startup, has disrupted the world of cricket collectibles by introducing a cricket-focused non-fungible token (NFT) platform. Founded in 2021 by Ankit Wadhwa, Gaurav Sethi, and Nikhil Shetty, Rario offers a unique digital marketplace where users can buy, sell, and trade officially licensed digital cricket cards and moments. With its innovative approach and growing popularity, Rario has secured a spot on Hexgn’s prestigious list of Top 10 Art & Creative Tech Startups in East Asia & Pacific for 2023.
At the heart of Rario’s offerings are its digital cricket cards. Each card represents a significant moment in cricket history, making it a cherished collectible for cricket enthusiasts. Through Rario’s platform, users can explore and acquire these digital cards, adding them to their collections. The platform provides a secure and transparent marketplace for buyers and sellers to engage in seamless transactions.
Rario goes beyond static cards and also offers “moments” – short videos that encapsulate key cricketing highlights. These moments allow fans to relive their favorite cricketing memories and own a piece of history. From iconic innings to thrilling catches, Rario’s moments capture the essence of the sport and offer fans a unique and immersive experience.
To further engage users, Rario regularly releases NFT packs. These packs contain a randomized assortment of digital cricket cards and moments, creating an element of surprise and excitement for collectors. Users can purchase these packs using fiat currency or cryptocurrency, providing flexibility and accessibility to a wide range of cricket enthusiasts.
Rario has successfully secured over $10 million in funding from prominent investors such as Animoca Brands, Republic Capital, and CVC Capital Partners. This significant financial support underscores the confidence investors have in Rario’s vision and potential to become a major player in the cricket NFT space.
As a part of Hexgn’s prestigious list of Top 10 Art & Creative Tech Startups in East Asia & Pacific for 2023, Rario continues to redefine the cricket memorabilia landscape, offering a unique value proposition to cricket enthusiasts worldwide.
Mighty Jaxx (Singapore): Unleashing Creative Magic with Designer Art Toys
In the world of designer toys, Mighty Jaxx has carved a niche for itself as a leading player. Founded in 2012 by David Ong and Wei Koh, this Singapore-based startup has gained international recognition for its innovative and captivating vinyl art toys.
With a dedicated team of over 50 employees, Mighty Jaxx has become a powerhouse in the industry, offering a unique blend of pop culture, streetwear, and urban art influences in their limited-edition creations.
At the heart of Mighty Jaxx’s offerings lies their ability to seamlessly blend art, technology, and imagination. Their signature product line, XXRAY toys, revolutionizes the art toy scene by providing transparent vinyl figures that reveal the inner workings of beloved characters. These meticulously crafted collectibles offer fans an exclusive glimpse into the anatomy and design elements of their favorite pop culture icons.
Kandy toys are another enchanting collection by Mighty Jaxx, featuring soft vinyl figures with a vibrant and candy-like appearance. These whimsical creations add a touch of sweetness to the art toy world, capturing the imagination of both toy enthusiasts and art connoisseurs alike. With their playful aesthetics and meticulous attention to detail, Kandy toys bring joy and nostalgia to collectors of all ages.
Mighty Jaxx takes art toys to another level with Freeny’s Hidden Dissectibles. These meticulously crafted vinyl figures are dissected to reveal their inner workings, offering a unique perspective on the familiar. By showcasing the intricate details and unseen layers within each character, these collectibles inspire curiosity and appreciation for the art of deconstruction.
One of Mighty Jaxx’s most captivating offerings is the Mighty Allstars collection, which brings together beloved characters from popular franchises like Marvel, DC Comics, and Star Wars. With stunning attention to detail and a commitment to authenticity, these collectible figures capture the essence of the characters, allowing fans to showcase their favorite heroes and villains in an entirely new light.
Mighty Jaxx’s remarkable achievements have not gone unnoticed. The startup has successfully raised over $10 million in funding from prominent investors such as FJ Labs, SIG Capital, and Golden Gate Ventures. This financial backing has enabled the company to expand its reach globally, with its products now available in over 50 countries. Moreover, Mighty Jaxx has received accolades from renowned publications including The New York Times, Forbes, and Wired, cementing its status as a trailblazer in the art toy industry.
Mighty Jaxx’s commitment to creating captivating and innovative vinyl art toys has earned them a well-deserved spot on Hexgn’s list of Top 10 Art & Creative Tech Startups in East Asia & Pacific for 2023.
RECON Labs (South Korea): Redefining 3D Content Creation with AI-Powered Solutions
In the realm of 3D content creation and visualization, RECON Labs, a South Korean startup, has emerged as a trailblazer. Founded in 2019 by Chris Park, Yun Kyungwon, and Sohee Yoon, RECON Labs develops cutting-edge AI-powered solutions that empower users to create and visualize stunning 3D models. With a focus on innovation and accessibility, the company is revolutionizing the way individuals and businesses approach 3D content.
RECON Labs’ flagship product, 3Dpresso, is a web-based platform that harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to transform photos and videos into high-quality 3D models. Users can simply upload their visual content to the platform, and 3Dpresso’s advanced algorithms will analyze the data, generating accurate and detailed 3D models. This intuitive and user-friendly solution opens up new possibilities for designers, architects, and creatives to bring their ideas to life in a tangible and immersive manner.
PlicAR, another remarkable offering from RECON Labs, is an augmented reality (AR) visualization software that enables users to view their 3D models in the real world. By leveraging AR technology, PlicAR allows users to overlay their digital creations onto the physical environment, providing a realistic and interactive experience. Whether it’s visualizing architectural designs in a real-world setting or showcasing product prototypes with precision, PlicAR enhances the way users interact with their 3D models, facilitating better decision-making and collaboration.
RECON Labs’ pursuit of innovation has attracted significant investment from prominent organizations. With over $62 million in funding from investors such as Kakao Ventures, Bluepoint Partners, and IITP, the startup has garnered recognition and support within the tech and investment communities. These financial resources have enabled RECON Labs to expand its operations and accelerate the development of its AI-powered solutions, solidifying its position as a leader in the 3D content creation domain.
At the heart of RECON Labs’ success is its visionary team of founders. Chris Park, Yun Kyungwon, and Sohee Yoon bring a wealth of expertise and passion to the company. Their combined experience in AI, computer vision, and 3D technologies drives the company’s mission to empower users with accessible and powerful tools for 3D content creation. With a dedicated team of 11-50 employees, RECON Labs is committed to pushing boundaries and shaping the future of 3D visualization.
RECON Labs’ exceptional contributions to AI-powered 3D content creation and visualization have earned it a well-deserved spot on Hexgn’s list of Top 10 Art & Creative Tech Startups in East Asia & Pacific for 2023.
Copin Communications (South Korea): Connecting Emotions through Vibrant Digital Content
Copin Communications, also known as Terrapin, is a South Korean digital content company that has been making waves in the industry. Founded in 2012 by Young-Hae Yoo and Ju-Hyun Kim, Copin Communications is headquartered in Seoul and has established itself as a leader in producing captivating characters, emoticons, webtoons, web novels, and mobile games.
With a strong focus on conveying emotions through vibrant content, Copin Communications has garnered recognition for its innovative use of digital media. In 2018, Forbes named the company one of the “Top 100 Global Startups,” highlighting its influence and impact in the industry. Copin Communications has also been honored with prestigious awards such as the “Korea Content Awards” and the “Korea Creative Content Agency Awards.” It has also earned a well-deserved spot on Hexgn’s list of Top 10 Art & Creative Tech Startups in East Asia & Pacific for 2023.
The company’s products span across various creative mediums, each contributing to its unique value proposition. Copin Communications has created a diverse range of characters, including its beloved mascot “Terrapin.” These characters come to life in captivating webtoons, engaging web novels, and immersive mobile games. By combining storytelling prowess with cutting-edge technology, Copin Communications captivates audiences and fosters a deep emotional connection.
Emoticons, another facet of Copin Communications’ offerings, play a significant role in modern communication. The company’s creative and expressive emoticons are designed for popular platforms such as KakaoTalk, LINE, and Facebook Messenger. These emoticons allow users to infuse their digital conversations with a wide array of emotions, adding an extra layer of personalization and fun.
Copin Communications has received substantial support from prominent investors, with over $52 million raised to fuel its growth and expansion. Investors such as SoftBank Ventures Korea, Naver, and Kakao have recognized the potential of Copin Communications and its ability to revolutionize the digital content landscape.
Looking to the future, Copin Communications continues to forge ahead with exciting projects. The company is currently developing a mobile game centered around its beloved character, “Terrapin,” further expanding its immersive universe. Additionally, Copin Communications is making strides in the global market, exemplified by the opening of an office in Los Angeles in 2019.
With its team of over 100 talented individuals and a clear vision of being a global content company that conveys emotions through vibrant content, Copin Communications is poised to shape the digital content industry.
UCOLLEX (Hong Kong SAR): Redefining the Digital Collectibles Marketplace
In the fast-growing world of digital collectibles, UCOLLEX stands out as a leading marketplace headquartered in Hong Kong. This innovative startup provides a platform for buying and selling digital collectibles, including NFTs (non-fungible tokens), and has gained recognition for its curated selection of digital art from artists worldwide. With a commitment to community, transparency, and innovation, UCOLLEX is redefining the way collectors and artists engage with digital art.
UCOLLEX offers a wide range of digital collectibles, providing collectors with access to unique and exclusive pieces from talented artists across the globe. The platform’s curated selection ensures a high-quality collection of digital art, allowing collectors to discover and acquire pieces that resonate with their individual tastes and preferences. UCOLLEX’s marketplace serves as a bridge between artists and collectors, fostering meaningful connections and collaborations within the digital art community.
UCOLLEX’s commitment to providing a curated marketplace, fostering a thriving community, and offering secure transactions has earned it a prominent spot on Hexgn’s list of Top 10 Art & Creative Tech Startups in East Asia & Pacific for 2023
One of UCOLLEX’s key offerings is the ability to purchase digital collectibles using fiat currency, simplifying the process for collectors who may be new to cryptocurrency. This feature sets UCOLLEX apart, providing a user-friendly experience for those who prefer to use traditional payment methods.
Moreover, UCOLLEX ensures a secure and transparent marketplace, leveraging blockchain technology to authenticate and verify the ownership and provenance of digital collectibles. This instills confidence in collectors, knowing that their purchases are genuine and protected.
UCOLLEX is more than just a marketplace; it fosters a vibrant community of collectors and artists. By providing a platform for engagement and interaction, UCOLLEX encourages collaboration, inspiration, and the celebration of digital art.
UCOLLEX’s success can be attributed to its visionary founders and the support of notable investors. The startup was founded by three entrepreneurs: Ethan Lee, a seasoned CEO and co-founder; Bryant Lin, an experienced CTO specializing in blockchain technology; and Clarence Hui, a skilled COO with expertise in business development. Together, they bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to UCOLLEX’s operations and growth strategies.
The startup has also raised over $10 million in funding from prominent investors such as Animoca Brands, HashKey Capital, and FBG Capital, validating its potential and vision.
Gemie (Singapore): Revolutionizing Fan Engagement in the Asian Entertainment Industry
Gemie, headquartered in Singapore with offices in Seoul, South Korea, and Taipei, Taiwan, is a metaverse platform and NFT marketplace specifically designed for the Asian entertainment industry. The startup offers a unique and immersive fan engagement experience, connecting fans with their favorite celebrities without physical boundaries.
At the heart of Gemie’s platform is its metaverse, a digital realm divided into different planets, each representing a different celebrity or group of celebrities. Fans can visit these planets to interact with each other, attend virtual events, and collect utility-focused NFTs. This innovative approach brings fans closer to their idols and creates an unprecedented level of interaction and engagement.
Gemie’s utility-focused NFTs are a key aspect of the platform. These NFTs provide access to exclusive content, such as behind-the-scenes videos, unreleased music, and merchandise. Fans can use these NFTs to participate in virtual events like meet-and-greets and concerts, enhancing their connection and experience with their favorite celebrities. Additionally, Gemie’s NFTs offer rewards such as airdrops of new NFTs or exclusive discounts, providing incentives for fan engagement.
Built on the Ethereum blockchain, Gemie combines the power of the metaverse and NFTs to create a dynamic and immersive fan ecosystem. The platform has already attracted renowned celebrities like Jay Chou, Rain, and Super Junior, demonstrating its appeal and potential in the entertainment industry. With support from investors such as Animoca Brands, Republic Capital, and Ascensive Assets, Gemie is poised for growth and innovation.
Gemie’s mission to connect entertainers and their communities without physical boundaries sets it apart in the industry. By providing fans with an immersive fan engagement experience, Gemie enables fans to celebrate and support Asian talent in a novel and exciting way. The platform’s vision to be the home for celebrating Asian talent underscores its commitment to creating a vibrant community and fostering deeper connections between fans and celebrities. For this reason, it has got a slot in Hexgn’s list of Top 10 Art & Creative Tech Startups in East Asia and Pacific for 2023
ProtoPie (South Korea): Empowering Design Teams with High-Fidelity Prototyping
In the realm of design and prototyping, ProtoPie has emerged as a game-changer, providing design teams with a high-fidelity prototyping tool that enables the creation of realistic and interactive prototypes without code. Founded in 2015 by designers Yusuke Umeda and Yuta Saito, ProtoPie has garnered recognition for its user-friendly platform that empowers designers, engineers, and product managers to bring their ideas to life across various devices.
ProtoPie fills a critical gap in the design process by allowing teams to create interactive prototypes without the need for coding skills. With its intuitive interface and powerful features, the tool enables users to transform their static designs into dynamic and functional prototypes.
Whether it’s for mobile apps, desktop software, web interfaces, or IoT devices, ProtoPie’s versatility and ease of use make it a go-to solution for creating prototypes that closely resemble the final product.
ProtoPie’s impact in the design community is evident through its impressive customer base, which includes industry giants like Google, Sony, and Airbnb. By providing a powerful and efficient prototyping solution, ProtoPie has become a go-to choice for companies seeking to streamline their design processes and improve collaboration.
ProtoPie’s innovation and success have garnered attention from both industry experts and prestigious publications. The company’s achievements have been highlighted in renowned outlets such as The New York Times, Wired, and Fast Company.
With its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, and a rapidly expanding global presence, ProtoPie is well-positioned to capitalize on the increasing demand for user-friendly and powerful prototyping solutions. ProtoPie’s commitment to empowering design teams with its high-fidelity prototyping tool has earned it a well-deserved spot on Hexgn’s list of Top 10 Art & Creative Tech Startups in East Asia & Pacific for 2023.
HIKKY (Japan): Connecting Real and Virtual Worlds through Innovative VR Solutions
In the fast-paced world of virtual reality (VR) technology, HIKKY stands out as a leading startup based in Ebisu, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. With a strong focus on creativity and innovation, HIKKY has carved a niche for itself by bridging the gap between the real world and the virtual world, offering a range of cutting-edge VR solutions that captivate both creators and users alike.
At the forefront of HIKKY’s offerings is Virtual Market, a groundbreaking VR event that has taken the industry by storm since its inception in 2018. Serving as a platform for creators to showcase their 3D content, Virtual Market has garnered immense popularity, attracting over 1 million visitors. In fact, it has even secured a coveted spot in Hexgn’s list of Top 10 Art & Creative Tech Startups in East Asia & Pacific for 2023. This massive VR event has also earned recognition in the form of a Guinness World Record for being the largest of its kind.
Another standout product from HIKKY is mokuriPJ, a versatile VR platform that allows creators worldwide to effortlessly create and share 3D content. As a free and open-source platform, mokuriPJ has gained traction within the creative community, empowering individuals to unleash their imagination and bring their ideas to life.
In addition to their flagship products, HIKKY provides an array of supplementary services, including VR consulting and production. Leveraging their team of experienced VR experts, the company assists businesses and organizations in developing and implementing VR projects tailored to their specific needs.
Under the visionary leadership of CEO Yasuyuki Funakoshi, a VR industry pioneer with a decade-long involvement in the field, HIKKY is driving the evolution of VR technology. Funakoshi’s passion for utilizing VR to create new experiences and foster meaningful connections has been the driving force behind the company’s success. Assisting Funakoshi is COO Asako Nishida, a seasoned marketing expert, who spearheads HIKKY’s business development and marketing efforts. Together, they form a dynamic duo that ensures HIKKY remains at the forefront of the VR industry.
A key figure in HIKKY’s talented team is Phio, a VR artist and developer responsible for the development of mokuriPJ. With a deep-rooted passion for pushing the boundaries of VR, Phio brings his innovative ideas to life, captivating audiences with his remarkable creations.
FASSKER (South Korea): Revolutionizing the Digital Fashion Metaverse
FASSKER, a digital fashion metaverse platform founded by Choi Hyun Seok in South Korea in 2019, has been making waves in the fashion industry. Headquartered in Seoul with an additional office in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, FASSKER offers a unique range of products and services that cater to fashion enthusiasts worldwide.
One of FASSKER’s notable offerings is COVER, a mobile fashion magazine that provides users with up-to-date fashion news, trends, interviews with influential fashion designers, and product reviews. COVER keeps fashion lovers informed and inspired, making it a go-to resource for staying on top of the latest industry developments.
Another exciting aspect of FASSKER is its fashion social media network called FLEX. This platform allows users to connect with like-minded fashion enthusiasts, share their personal style through photos and videos, follow other users, and engage in vibrant discussions about all things fashion. FLEX creates a community-driven space where individuals can express their fashion identities and find inspiration from others who share their interests.
FASSKER takes the fashion experience to another level with its virtual world, the FASSKER Metaverse. Within this virtual space, users can create personalized avatars, explore a myriad of fashion-themed environments, and interact with other users. The FASSKER Metaverse offers a truly immersive experience, allowing individuals to experiment with different styles, showcase their creativity, and connect with a global fashion community.
The success of FASSKER can be attributed to its innovative approach and strategic partnerships. With over $10 million in funding from prominent investors such as SoftBank Ventures Korea, Kakao Ventures, and Mirae Asset Venture Investment, the company has solid financial backing. Additionally, FASSKER has formed partnerships with renowned fashion brands including Fendi, Dior, and G-Cut, further establishing its credibility and expanding its reach in the industry.
Recognitions and accolades have also been showered upon FASSKER. In 2022, the company received the Grand Prize at the Startup:CON competition, hosted by the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Furthermore, FASSKER was honored as one of the “Top 100 Global Fashion Tech Companies” by Business of Fashion, cementing its position as a key player in the digital fashion metaverse space. In fact, it has even secured a coveted spot in Hexgn’s list of Top 10 Art & Creative Tech Startups in East Asia & Pacific for 2023.