Build a fairer,
more sustainable society

By utilizing technology, realize a fairer and more sustainable society

Innovative approaches that utilize AI technology lead to fundamental and sustainable solutions to social issues. We continue to work with companies to create these solutions while prioritizing ethics.


Transparency icon


Be open and honest with the person in front of you.

Trust and Cooperation icon

Trust & Cooperation信頼と協力

Mutual respect and constructive cooperation.

Challenger Mentality icon

Challenger Mentalityチャレンジ精神

To constantly improve oneself in order to solve problems.

Transparency icon

Social Goodソーシャルグッド

To make society and people happy with the value we create.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

All we share is a passion for sustainability and technology, and trust and respect for each other.

Photo of rebecca

Software Engineer
from Sydney

Photo of iris

Software Engineer
from Vancouver

Photo of pablo

Machine Learning Engineer
from Germany

Photo of oktay

Planning and Administration Manager
from Istanbul

Photo of mariana

Machine Learning Engineer
from Brasilia

Photo of chikara

Project Manager
from Tokyo

Photo of saul

Software Engineer
from Lima

Recursive logo

To work with the best people in the world, Recursive removes the filter of nationality and respects diversity in all aspects of thinking and areas of expertise.

The benefits of a diverse team are numerous. Innovations are born from different values and perspectives. Because we assume that "you and others are different," we can interact with each other on a zero-based basis without stereotypes, making it easier to come up with opinions and ideas. Because we are diverse, we can create an open and flat space and learn a lot from each other. We realize the significance of this every day.

Our story

Recursive was born from a meeting between a world-class AI engineer and an experienced serial entrepreneur.

Photo of Tiago

Co-founder and CEO

Tiago Ramalho

What is the story behind the founding of Recursive?

“I was convinced that my AI technology could have a positive impact on society.”

I was feeling uninspired at my previous job, and I wanted to do something that wasn’t motivated by money. Something that would rekindle my passion, and have an impact on society. It was around this time that I met Toshi (Katsutoshi Yamada) at Cogent Labs.

Impressed by his ability to communicate with clients and bridge the gap between AI and business needs, we began discussing how we could work on projects that would have a positive impact on society. We decided that the best way forward was to create our own company specializing in such projects.

I thought we should create some kind of purposeful mission so that we didn’t end up working just for money. Toshi had previously been involved in the ethical fashion business, and I was also interested in things like carbon footprints. From there, we started talking about how sustainability could have a big impact on society, and that's how Recursive came to be.

At first, we were not sure how we could contribute to sustainability. As we talked with our clients, we realized that they knew their goals but did not know how to achieve them, and that there was room for us to help with our own innovation. After many discussions and refinements, we established a flow where we first help them identify what they need to do and what would have a positive impact, and then put it into action.

In order to stay true to our mission, we also chose to be a bootstrap company (i.e., run the company self-sufficiently, without outside intervention). We do not raise funds from investors. The idea is to build trust and grow by executing each project well.

Why did you want to work in Japan?

“I want to make an impact on the world by combining Japan's great hardware technology with innovative software.”

There are many Japanese companies with great technical know-how in terms of manufacturing, construction, and engineering. However, these companies still operate mostly by hand and do not have much software expertise. We believe that by providing these companies with innovative software, we can help them develop more sustainable products and services that will have an impact not only in Japan, but throughout the world. For example, I think Japanese technology in robotics is excellent. There are excellent robotics companies in Europe and the United States, but Japanese quality is still the best. It is true that cheap and good products are being made in China and Taiwan, but from the perspective of sustainability, Japanese hardware has the highest quality products, with high potential to be used for a long time. That is why productivity could be greatly enhanced by updated software.

We want to play a leading role in the innovation thought process of Japanese companies, helping them improve productivity by streamlining processes using AI and machine learning, optimizing products with less energy consumption, and improving innovation outcomes. This will also reduce waste. We want to help companies streamline operations and thereby help their employees improve their skills, grow, and assign the right people to new projects. For Japanese companies that want to do business in the sustainability field, we can help come up with ideas to apply technology and help implement them.

Photo of Katsutoshi

Co-founder and COO

Katsutoshi Yamada

Why did you start a business focused on sustainability?

“Donations and CSR are temporary. You can only create a cycle when you solve social issues and do business at the same time”

When I was 16 years old, I happened to see the activities of the NPO “Free the Children” on TV. I felt struck that this is what I wanted to do in the world, and this sparked my passion to solve poverty. That is how it all began. Thinking that education could solve poverty, I once created a volunteer organization, held a fundraising event, and donated several million yen to charity. However, through that experience I realized that donating money was not a fundamental solution and was not sustainable. We cannot solve the problem unless we make it a business and create a cycle where members learn, become independent, and then teach others. At the age of 29, I left the IT industry to launch an ethical fashion business, and I learned to balance business and solving social issues. But at the time, there were still very few people with a business perspective regarding social issues. Many people would buy from a sympathetic point of view, just thinking “it's good for society,”-- and I realized that this was not going to change the world.

At that point, I decided to return to the world of technology, which had always been my strength, and studied cutting-edge technology and new business development through AI consulting at Cogent Labs. After that, I became independent and created a free engineering school to train tens of thousands of engineers, and have since been engaged in business development with a focus on solving social issues through business. I also believed that AI is a tool, not an objective.

I was feeling increasingly concerned about the global environment and Japan's lagging behind when I met Tiago, a top of the line AI engineer. Witnessing his skills and environmental awareness, I realized that we could have a global impact if we combined his technical skills with the business skills I had developed, leading me to start Recursive.

What is Recursive's goal?

“To be a company that Japanese people can be proud of by creating sustainable innovation with cutting-edge technology.”

First, by 2025, Recursive will be a leading sustainable innovation company in Japan. Then, by 2027, we would like Recursive to be in the top three in Asia, and by 2032, we would like Recursive to be in the top three globally when people think of sustainability businesses and advanced technology companies. It may be challenging, but we must first dream big in order to meet our full potential. We want to change the situation where Japanese people are not proud of Japan. We want people to be proud that there are companies in Japan that are creating sustainable innovation with cutting-edge technology, and proud that Recursive is a Japanese company. To begin with, Japan has always historically been very sustainable. Unfortunately, Japan has fallen behind in the postwar era, but with Recursive's software support, we believe that Japan's true strengths can be leveraged. For example, Japan is experiencing an unprecedented increase in the elderly population, and there is no reason not to take advantage of cutting-edge technology to solve social issues such as the shrinking workforce.

On the other hand, we are not at all limited to Japan. Sustainability is borderless, and Recursive members come from all over the world, and many live abroad currently. We do not look at the world from Japan, but rather as if we were looking at the earth from outer space. Naturally, we are also looking at overseas clients, and will go to any country or region if there is an opportunity and if it fits with the company's mission. I believe that this will ultimately provide inspiration to Japan.

Management members

Headshot of Tiago Ramalho

Co-founder and CEOTiago Ramalhoティアゴ・ラマル

Tiago holds a Master's degree in Theoretical/Mathematical Physics and a PhD in Biophysics from Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich. After graduation, he joined Google DeepMind. As a senior research engineer, he worked on cutting-edge projects such as reinforcement learning, predictive models and self-directed learning and published numerous papers in international journals such as Nature. He then joined Cogent Labs, a multinational Tokyo based AI start-up, as a lead research scientist. In August 2020, Co-founded Recursive Inc, and became the CEO.

Headshot of Katsutoshi Yamada

Co-founder and COOKatsutoshi Yamada山田 勝俊

After graduating from Deakin University's MBA, Katsutoshi worked in the IT industry for both Japanese and foreign companies, then launched the Japanese market for ethical fashion and started two companies. After that, he worked as a sales director at Cogent Labs, a multinational AI start-up, where he developed sales, alliances and strategy for the AI-OCR product "Tegaki." In 2018, he founded Colnovum Inc, specialized in providing AI consulting and new business development for large companies. In August 2020, co-founded Recursive Inc.

Headshot of Shun Wakabayashi

Executive Director / VP of BusinessShun Wakabayashi若林 峻

After graduating from Keio University (SFC), joined GE Capital. In 2010, he joined Google, LLC. where he was in charge of new customer development, and then moved to Mundipharma, where he developed global digital marketing strategies while based in Singapore. After that, he returned to Google LLC and worked as the head of a major ad agency team, and then promoted DX in the retail industry with several leading Japanese retail companies.

Why Recursive

Our clients

IHI logoSumitomo Forestry logoAsahi logoMaruho logoBelldesign logo

Company Profile

Corporate NameRecursive Inc.
Headquarters AddressShibuya S-6 Building 6F, 1-7-1 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0002, Japan
Show on Google Maps
EstablishedAugust, 2020
FoundersTiago Ramalho / Katsutoshi Yamada
Our businessAI R&D and providing solutions related to the SDGs