May 31, 2010

Softbank Group to go into e-publishing with over 30 publishers

Softbank Group company, Viewn, announced to start contents distribution service for iPad and others on June 1st. 13 companies including newspapers, magazines, and TV stations provide 31 contents in total. It charges 450 yen for 30 days for iPad. Also it is available with iPhone, iPod touch, and Softbank's feature phones. The price is 350 yen for 30 days for iPhone, and 315 yen for 1 month for feature phones.

The contents are CanCam, women's  fashion magazine, FRIDAY, Diamond, Economist, AERA, Nittele NEWS 24 and others. 5/31/2010

May 28, 2010

Spaceout developed pARalell, AR viewer working with paper media

pARalell is AR viewer appilication for smart phone. It targets for media mix with paper media and digital signage at real shops. By holding camera over markers of paper or signage, users will get detailed information on the same screen.

Different from QR code, detailed information are installed with the application, it does not need to access to the internet and displays information speedily.

Techinsight 5/27/2010

Nekojarashi launches e-catalog application for shops using iPad as a digital signage

The e-catalog application is a solution to use iPad as a digital signage in a shop. The company makes application from catalogs based on request from shops.

VentureNow 5/27/2010

Rakuten released Chira Yomi, iPad app to view magazine

Rakuten operating online book store, Rakuten Books released Chira Yomi which allows users to view some pages of e-magazine of 36 titles from 18 publishers such as Gentosha and Tokuma Shoten free. In addition to viewing a magazine, users can buy paper magazine form Rakuten Books. 7 magazines such as GINGER and Goods Press allow to buy items on the magazines by a click through Rakuten Ichiba. This is the first application linking items on magazines and e-commerce. The service uses a solution of Yappa.

Internet Watch 5/28/2010

Sony, KDDI, Toppan, and Asahi Shimbun establish a new company to build open platform of ebook

The new company will be set up in July, planning to start a service and a new device within this year. It does not limit participating companies or devices. 4 companies equally invest in the new company in charge of planning of the business. Sony will launch the next model of ebook reader, Reader, which is currently sold overseas within this year. KDDI plans to sell a new device for ebook and also make their selling smart phone adaptable with the service.

The new business's sales point is open. The platform will not restrict formats of ebook, device, and stores. It even has possibility to be available with iPad or Kindle.

ITmedia 5/27/2010

May 27, 2010

CyberAgent announced virtual community service for overseas, AmebaPico surpasses 1 million users

AmabaPico is an overseas version of AmebaPig, a virtual community which allows users to have their avatar and communicate with other users in real time. In addition to web service version, it provides it as Facebook application.

CNET 5/27/2010

Senshukai and Yappa provides e-catalog with e-commerce function

Senshukai and Yappa jointly developed iPad application of online shopping catalog. The e-catalog allows users to access to Belle Maison net, online shopping site operated by Senshukai, by one tap when viewing it. 5/27/2010

Viewers of Nico Nama and Ustream increases thanks to Jigyo Shiwake

NetRatings revealed that a number of visitors to NicoNico Nama Hoso and Ustream has increased. A live streaming of Jigyo Shiwake by the government got popularity.

Internet Watch 5/26/2010

DeNA holds social game contests, TechStuDIG, for students

TechStuDIG 2010 is a contest for student planning and developing social games. DeNA developers judges and selects 8 students, who will work as an intern at DeNA for 1 and a half month to plan and develop social games. 5/26/2010

ACCESSPORT launches social game on its video search service, "Woopie"

Woopie is a video search service with 6 millions of unique users per month. The first application is Noujou Paradise, which ACCESSPORT provides on mixi.

CNET 5/26/2010

Rakuten goes into Indonesia market partnering with a local media company

Rakuten announced to set up a joint venture with Indonesian media conglomerate, PT Global Mediacom to launch online shopping mall in late this year. Amount of investment is 384 million yen and Rakuten has 51% share.

PT Global Mediacom possesses a nation wide TV and radio network, newspaper, and news portal site, The joint venture will invite shops in Indonesia to operate shopping mall for domestic consumers. In a long term, Rakuten plans to link the mall with Rakuten Ichiba in Japan and also Rakuten Taiwan, in Thailand, online mall in China jointly with Baidu, and in the US which Rakuten acquires in the end of June.

Internet Watch 5/26/2010

May 26, 2010 released Twitter client, jigtwl

jigtwi is a Twitter client application for NTT Docomo:s mobile devices. There are many Twitter applications for smart phones, but not many for feature phones. Also these applications for feature phones are mainly web-based which have some problems with usability. Then developed Twitter client integrating a part of features of its jig full browser to make it more user friendly.

CNET 5/26/2010

Vector launches ebook rental service, Choiyomi

Choiyomi has more than 6,500 of ebooks such as comics, novels and photo books.
Users can view rental books with a browser of PC, mobile, smart phones and iPad. Native viewer applications are not needed. Some of ebooks have no limitation to view.

Internet Watch 5/25/2010

Fringe81 announced to launch *iogous*, banner ads platform

iogous is an ads platform using creative optimization technology developed by Fringe81. It automatically generates thousands of banner ads by combination of catch-phrases, colors of text, visuals, and background colors and distribute optimized banners which are likely to be clicked.

Fringe81 5/24/2010

mixi released mixi for BlackBerry smartphones

mixi announced that NTT Docomo started to provide mixi for BlackBerry smartphones on Docomo smartphone site Application.

CNET 5/26/2010

Samurai Incubate opens Samurai School for entrepreneurs

By setting up Samurai School, Samurai Incubate aims to make matching between persons who wants to start up or work at seed or early stage start-ups but do not have enough skills and experiences, and start-ups which has difficulties to hire people with adaptable potential.

pressrelease-jp 5/25/2010

5 companies joined Social Application Forum

Social Application Forum was founded by ngi group and Adways, which aims to support social application providers by providing fund, infrastructure, contents produce, billing, and promotion.

Newly joined companies are Globespan Capital Partners, CyberAgent Investment, Shoei-sha, Daiwa SMBC Capital, and LiveDoor. SAF has 27 members.

CNET 5/25/2010

May 25, 2010

[Asiajin]New Paid Tweet Service Twad Launched By Japan #2 Internet Ads Agency, Opt

Asiajin 5/25/2010
Opt, Inc., one of Japan’s largest internet ads agency, Kazeniwa and Overtex launched a new advertising platform on influencers’ tweets, named (pronounced “Tsuado”) on May 24th. ...

May 24, 2010

Renacentia provides SiteViewer, iPhone app optimizing PC site for smart phone in real time

SiteViewer allows smart phone users to view optimized web pages developed for PC by converting the web pages in real time. Also optimized pages are stored for a certain period, which enables users to view the site off line. It also has a function to post web pages to Twitter and Facebook with just a click. 5/24/2010

Splume develops 3D avatar platform for smart phone

Splume opens API of the 3D avatar platform which allows application providers to efficiently implement 3D avatar customized for their services in their applications. The company plans to take revenue share model based on avatar items sales that the platform users have.

Asahi 5/21/2010

May 21, 2010

Kanshin! released a new version of iPhone app, "Ramblin"

Ramblin connects local shops and restaurants, and users with Twitter. Users leaves tweets at places such as restaurants. The new version of Ramblin ver 2.0 gives fun badge to an user based on number of tweets.

Also, it allows users to view tweets and local information by selecting place on map interface. By bookmarking places an user often visit such as a home, school, and office, an user immediately access to those places.

ValuePress 5/21/2010

Papyless to go public on JASDAQ at June 23

Papyless was founded in 1995. It provides ebook for PC and mobile and just announced to start ebook rental service for iPad.

CENT 5/20/2010

May 20, 2010

[TechCrunch] Gets Acquired By Japanese E-Commerce Giant Rakuten For $250 Million

TechCrunch 5/20/2010
Rakuten has reached a definitive agreement to acquire California-based shopping portal for $250 million next month.

Cross Ocean Media starts digital signage, "Tokyo Media" at Lawson store front

Cross Ocean Media, a joint venture by Lawson, Asatsu-DK, and NTT Docomo, starts Tokyo Media providing contents on a 46 inches display at store front of Lawson. The company plans to provide various kind of contents such as advertisement, campaign, event information, and fortune-telling.

Near a display, a FeliCa reader/writer is to be placed, with which customers get coupon or campaign information by touching with their Osaifu Keitai.

Keitai Watch 5/20/2010

Dentsu and Yappa releases SpinMediaRemix, optimizing epublishing contents for iPhone

SpinMediaRemix allows publishers to convert magazine pages' data optimizing for iPhone. As the first epublishing magazine, Recruit starts to provide free iPhone app, R25 for iPhone, which allows users to view free magazine, R25.

JCN Newswire, 5/20/2010

Rakuten To Launch Development Bases In China, India

Rakuten plans to set up Internet technology development bases in China and India this year and a U.S. research center next month. Following Taiwan and Thailand, Rakuten plans to enter seven countries this year, mainly in Asia. It seeks to develop a common technological platform to enable it to take its Rakuten Ichiba virtual mall into new foreign markets.

Nikkei 5/20/2010

May 19, 2010

BeMoove released BeMoove iTV, streaming service for iPhone

BeMoove iTV allows customers to develop video streaming site within minimum of 7 days. Videos are automatically placed in a web page by uploading the video file. Distributors do no need to copy and paste source code in HTML pages.

BeMoove expects that the solution will be used for B2E, such as shops and restaurants distributing information to their employees and B2C.

Asahi 5/19, 2010

MAGASTORE, ebook shop started the sercice for PC, and iPad follows soon

Dentsu and Yappa announced that their joint business, MAGASTORE starts the service for PC and iPad in May, which allows users to view contents using mobile on train, PC at office and iPad at home.

Currently 30 magazine publishers are participating with the services, with which users can buy back numbers in addition to the latest magazines.

CNET 5/19, 2010

Gree started providing hosting service for application developers

The service is offered to social application developers using GREE platform which allows external developers to provide application service on GREE.

CNET 5/19, 2010

Social apps developer, Sprasia upgrades "sprasiaSTUDIO", social application development platform

sprasiaSTUDIO allows customers to develop social media site. With this version upgrade, its online video editing application, "effectunes" is upgraded to "effectunes pro", which has many features including HD image editing.

Asahi 5/19, 2010

EC Navi set up a subsidiary, Genesix developing smart phone applications

Genesix plans to develop 10 apps by the end of 2010 including joint-developed apps with partners with their own database or contents.

CNET 5/19, 2010

May 18, 2010

Naked Technology allocated new share of 100 million yen to University of Tokyo Edge Capital

Naked Technology provides application development platform, "Colors", with which it develops applications for multi careers' devices. 5/18, 2010

Papyless launches "Denshi Kashihon Renta!", ebook rental service for iPad.

"Denshi Kashihon Renta!" provides a rental service of an ebook from 100 to 300 yen for 48 hours by rental. Both PC and smart phone are available to borrow and view ebook on Web browser. Followed by iPhone version, the company plans to release iPad application, with which users can find a book from 6,500 titles and also view a sample. 5/18, 2010

Synergy Software launched, ebook sharing service allows users to view non DRM ebooks and also post ebook of EPUB format which users wrote by themselves.

VentureNow 5/17, 2010

Local information sharing site, Town Note launched a site for iPhone

Town Note is a service that allows users to submit and view reviews of local information such as restaurants, drag stores, hospitals, parks and public offices, which is operated by Zentai Tsuda, founder of 4travel. After opening prototype in January, he has added some features like screening reviews and follow function between users.

The iPhone site allows to search local shops using present location information, view information that the user bookmarked on PC site and reviews, pictures, and members the user follows.

CNET 5/17, 2010

May 17, 2010

Witsign launched search service, SeQuSa pursueing safety and efficiency

SeQuSa is the Internet search service with a concept of "Searching Quickly and Safely". A search result with SeQuSa using either of Google/Yahoo!/Bing is to be displayed inside of flame called Secure Box. Inside the flame, the result including linked site is given invalidation of JavaScript, Cookie, and form.

VentureNow 5/17, 2010

Tonchi. released Sekai Camera for iPad

The free application allows users to view and submit air tags based on location, which are to be viewed from iPhone. Also the application has features allowing users to virtually warp to 12 places in the world and to view and submit air tags there.

Mainichi 5/17, 2010

Softbank and Ustream set up Japan office of Ustream by the end of May

Softbank makes a 60% share and Ustream makes a 30% plus. VC funds are expected to invest several percent.

ITmedia 5/14, 2010

May 14, 2010

FSI provides EZ-VC, Web videoconference service

Funward Strategy and Investmenr launched EZ-VC which allows a user to have videoconference viewing all participants with only browser, Internet and web camera. It focuses on four simple features, video phone, text chat, file sending, and voice recording.

VentureNow 5/14, 2010

May 13, 2010

DeNA started to provide Moba-ge's popular game on Facebook

DeNA's 100% subisidiary, MiniNation launched Bandit Nation on Facebook, the most popular social game on Moba-ge-town.

ITmedia 5/12, 2010

mixi is planning a new platform service followed by mixi appli

mixi revealed that it is planning to provide a new platform service. In 2009, mixi launched mixi appli which allows external partners to provide applications and a lot of popular games such as Sunshine Bokujo has emerged and largely contributed to increase number of users, page views and frequency of usage.

A new platform will allow other web services and devices outside of mixi to link to mixi easier.

CNET 5/13, 2010

Talknote launched a communication service for an email alternate

Talknote allows users to share messages with friends with an interface similar to mini-blog like Twitter, which is open and allows users to get to know someone, but with Talknote users communicate with friends who users know of their email address under closed environment and save the log.

There are no limit of number of letters. By inviting and communicating with a friend, a personal note with the friend is to be generated and saved as time-line. It is also possible to make group note in which users can register up to 100 friends.

VentureNow 5/13, 2010

INCJ invests 2.6 billion yen in semiconductor start-up, Genusion

Government-run fund, INCJ announced to invest 2.6 billion yen in total in Genusion, a semiconductor memory manufacturer.
The company is developing a next generation memory writing data at high speed jointly with Osaka University. The next generation memory is expected to be used in mobile phone and digital consumer electronics as a storage.

Yomiuri Online 5/10, 2010

Government-run fund, INCJ invested in Zepher, wind power generation start-up

INCJ announced to invest 1 billion yen in Zepher, which has got invested from Nomura Securities, Japan Asia Investment, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital and others.

Nikkei 5/13, 2010

May 12, 2010

Rei-Frontier started beta test of "Rara Kore", iPhone app with AR and avatar

Rara Kore is a community service combining AR and original avatar service. When user check-in a spot like shops and landmark, they will get experience value and point and a user with the largest number of check-in has Rara Star on each spot. Users can change cloths and items of avatar with points and an avatar will level-up based on experience value gained.

VentureNow 5/12, 2010 announced to provide e-book viewer for Android with AdobeDRM support

By supporting AdobeDRM, the e-book viewer enables to distribute and manage copyright of 550,000 of titles, which the company expect to accelerate acquiring rights from large publishers around the world.

Keitai Watch 5/12, 2010

Mobile site transformation ASP, "Mobile Convert for Smart phone" is released

MTI launched Mobile Convert for smart phone, which automatically optimizes Docomo's i-mode mobile site for smart phone.

Mycom 5/12, 2010

DAC started smart phone ad network, "Smarti"

DAC announced to start smart phone ad network, Smarti, jointly with its group company, SPiRE and i-Media Drive from June.

Not only on Smarti, but users can place an ad on impAct, ad network for PC operated by i-Media Drive and Kuchimoba, ad network for mobile operated by SPiRE at the same time.

CNET 5/12, 2010

Kiramex opened "KAUPON", attracting a large number of customers with a premium in a short period

Kiramex launched web site, KAUPON, which allows users to buy collectively premium tickets of coupon or special plan of restaurants, beauty salon, and school.

Kiramex sells ticket which aligns with a concept of premium ticket. One kind of ticket is sold during the period in each area. A deal is realized only when a preset minimum number of tickets are sold and a maximum number is also defined.

VentureNow 5/12, 2010

Blog Pay enhanced feature of its marketplace, "Blog Pay"

Blog Pay added blog posting request function to its marketplace, Blog Pay, where users sell and buy goods under anonymity regardless of business or individual. Blog Pay operates delivery center which allows users to sell and buy goods in safe. By embedding a tool to blogs, goods of categories which is relevant to the blog are automatically post, and the blogger will get 1% of sales.

The newly added blog posting request function allows sellers to request member blogs relevant to the goods to post them.

VentureNow 5/12, 2010

May 11, 2010

Future of Apps, monetizing support platform for next generation apps developers

Hikari Tsushin through its main partner, Best Create, establishes "Future of Apps", supporting next generation applications developer to monetize jointly with CyberAgent Investment and SBI Investment.

The project offers a maximum of 10 million yen for a plan, and  a total of 1 billion yen. With back up from Best Create and Hikari Tsushin, it provides fund, development environment, technical support, and resource matching.

Business Wire 5/11, 2010

Axxiss added Office file editing feature to its cloud platform, "AXXISS"

By partnering with Zoho, Axxiss provides online Office feature to its netbook portal service, AXXISS. AXXISS is cloud service aggregator, which allows users to consolidate various cloud services such as mail, calender, RSS reader and storage.

Mainichi 5/11, 2010

Kumoma added location sharing and photo sharing to its life log service, ""

Kumoma announced to add log exchange feature with location information service, "Foursquare" and photo sharing service, "Twitpic" to its life log service, "". was released as a beta in this January. Users register items to manage daily such as diet, reading and quitting smoking. In addition to PC, Web browsers of iPhone/Android devices are usable. With the log exchange feature with Foursquare and Twitpic, users can view the information saved on these applications on calender, time-line and blog parts of

VentureNow 5/10, 2010

Nico Nico Nama Hoso, live streaming iPhone app

Dwango releases Nico Nico Nama Hoso iPhone app for free, which allows to view and distribute Nico Nico Nama Hoso, related service of Nico Nico Doga. The service will be a strong rival for Ustream which Softbank invested.

Only premium users are able to distribute live streaming. Viewers and distributors are allowed to post comments on streaming video during on-air. Also URL of the video will be post on Twitter if distributors input Twitter account. Another characteristic is camera switching with which distributors starts live streaming with web camera connected to PC and can change the camera to iPhone.

CNET 5/11, 2010

May 10, 2010

[Asiajin]DeNA Begins Free Games And Community On English iPhone/iPad

Asiajin 5/10, 2010
DeNA, which runs one of big three Japanese social networking Mobage-Town, today announced and immediately launched MiniNation and its games, their popular social games and its basement community in English on iPhone/iPad for overseas users. ...

CyberAgent Investment invested in mAPPn Wireless (China) Inc

CyberAgent Investment Inc. announces to invest in mAPPn Wireless Inc. , which develops and provides Android-based platform and application market in China. Its platform have been currently installed for around 60% of the total Android-based mobile phones in China.

CyberAgent expects to invite Japanese mobile application developers in China and let them sell through mAPPn Wireless's application store.

CNET 5/10, 2010

HI CORPORATION added stereovision image generating function to its 3D drawing engine for embedded devices

The added function automatically generates images for both right and left eye necessary for stereovision from normal 3D graphics model data.

CNET 5/10, 2010

Yahoo! Shopping and TaoBao partnered to sell products each other

Yahoo Japan announced to partner with TaoBao, EC site of Alibaba group of China, providing service to allow each users to do business each other. TaoBao is the largest online shopping site.

Internet Watch 5/10, 2010

UEI starts to provide ARider, AR navigation support middleware for smart phone.

ARider is middleware which supports to deploy navigation function with AR technology to applications of smart phones such as iPhone and Android.

The company expects that the middleware is to be used with following applications.
- Routing assistance to shops or offices
- Advertisement connected to a specific location
- Event and campaign such as games and stamp rally

Asahi 5/10, 2010

Conit provides billing service for iPhone/Android application

Conit and Dentsu started to provide SamuraiPurchase for iPhone/iPad, which allows digital contents sellers to provide billing function in their applications for iPhone/iPad.

The service is an ASP solution enabling to sell items or additional stages of games, magazine or video contents in applications.

Also, GMO Payment Gateway and Conit will launch the service for Android at the end of June. PayPal payment will be provided initially, and credit cards and e-money are to be added.

Keitai Watch 5/10, 2010

Celsys and Voyager announced to provide ebook solution for iPad

Both companies jointly provide ebook solution allowing to distribute existing contents to various devices, which they call "one-source, multi-use". It has been used with many ebook on App Store.

In the future, they plan to deploy EPUB generating function which enables to view ebooks with iBooks, ebook application for iPad by Apple.

CNET 5/10, 2010

[MassHighTech]Softbank Capital said to raise $100M for new fund

Mass High Tech 4/30, 2010
Newton-based venture capital firm Softbank Capital has raised $100 million in a new fund, according to a report from blog PEHub.

May 1, 2010

[TechCrunch] Japanese Gaming Company DeNA Sees 136 Percent Jump In Profit And Record Revenue

TechCrunch 5/1, 2010
Japanese gaming company DeNA reported strong fourth quarter and 2009 yearly results today, thanks to the recent growth of social gaming in Japan. For the fiscal fourth quarter, DeNA reported revenues of $205 million, an increase of 81% compared to fourth quarter of 2008. Operating income increased by 136% to $105 million from the fourth quarter of 2008. For fiscal 2009, DeNA reported revenues of $517 million, an increase of 28% compared to fiscal 2008. Operating income for the year increased by 34% to $228 million from fiscal 2008. Both fourth quarter and annual revenues as well as operating profits are record highs for DeNA. ...