Aug 30, 2010

Digital Telopper EN-NL1068 displaying comments of NicoNico Jikkyo on TV

Entis starts to sell Digital Telopper EN-NL1068 on September, which superimposes text obtained through Internet on full HD TV images in real-time. By setting the device between recorder or CATV tuner and TV, connecting the Internet and selecting TV program, comments of NicoNico Jikkyo is to be displayed on TV.

The company plans to display other text sources such as RSS, 2 Channel, and Twitter. The price is 19,800 yen.

NicoNico Jikkyo is one of services of NicoNico Doga, in which users share feelings about TV programs. The service has Web version which users use with browser and NicoNico Jikkyo App which users use with TV tuner enabled PC superimposing TV display.

Yomiuri 8/29/2010 

Aug 27, 2010

[e27] Japan’s FlutterScape closes $177k seed round with Digital Garage

e27 8/27/2010
FlutterScape, the Tokyo-based social marketplace site, has closed a seed investment round worth 15 million yen (US$177,000) with JASDAQ-listed Digital Garage. This is FlutterScape’s second investment this month. We broke the news earlier this month that it took US$100,000 from Japanese auctions aggregator Aucfan. The latest deal closed on 26 Aug. ...

Drecom strengthen partnership with CrowdStar, US Social Game Provider

Drecom revealed to strengthen a partnership with CrowdStar to provide all social games of CrowdStar in Japan. In addition to mixi, GREE and HanGame which the company is already offering, Yahoo! Moba-ge to be planned to launch on October 1st is to be included.

Behind the partnership reinforcement, the world's largest social game maker, Zynga sets up joint venture with SoftBank. CrowdStar is the third largest social game maker only after Zynga and Playfish.

Game Watch 8/26/2010

CyberAgent Investment invests in Green Mobile, Vietnamese mobile game developer

CyberAgent Investment took 27% share of Green Mobile by this investment. Green Mobile is one of the few mobile game developer in Vietnam, where the investor believes that a mobile game market is promising area. 8/26/2010

Aug 26, 2010

Verci, coupon group buying service launched

Verci sells coupons the company selects from restaurants, hotels, and beauty salons. A coupon is sold in one area for up to 3 days. It starts from Tokyo area and plans to expand Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka area within this year.

Verci is a subsidiary of UL Systems, system integrator.

CNET 8/25/2010

Aug 24, 2010

Moba-ge-town started to lock-in open games

DeNA, Moba-ge-town operator, notified several social game providers that if they provide social games to its competitor, GREE, the Social Networking Service operator will not promote their games in Moba-ge-town. This is not an official revision of rules, but more than a dozen of vendors which TechCrunch interviews have received this explanation individually. DeNA does not disclose the matter.

TechCrunch 8/20/2010

Aug 23, 2010

Groupon model service, Shareee launched linking with Yahoo! ID

Shareee launched premium ticket group buying site, Shareee on August 23. As the form of service is same as other existing Groupon model services, one deal one day in one area is to be offered. It allows users to login with Yahoo! ID.

Shareee started business from this August. Major share holders are SBI Investment, Hikari Tsushin and e-Machi town. The company plans to provide various genres of services such as restaurants and beauty salons. In order to differentiate from competitors, it provides premium tickets that people would like to visit, but can not afford.

Venture Now 8/23/2010

Aug 20, 2010

Wagoon provides ASP of Groupon model group buying site

Wagoon starts to provide Flash Marketing ASP from August 20, which enables to develop group buying site. The company targets catalog sellers, manufacturers and advertising agencies which intends to launch flash marketing site.

Wagoon have launched Tokuten, group buying site for shops and restaurants, and Tokupin!, the similar site focusing on EC site.

Venture Now 8/19/2010

Nobot partners with BuzzCity in Singapore

BuzzCity, founded in 1999, operates mobile ad network in Singapore. With the alliance, developers and web site operators using AdMaker, Nobot's ad network for Smartphone. are able to display ads that BuzzCity is distributing on their web site or application and make revenue.

Nobot intermediates contract, registration or billing with foreign ad network. which allows developers using foreign ad network without regard for language or currency.

MarkeZine 8/20/2010

Sekai Camera Web launched

Tonchidot launched Sekai Camera Web which allows viewing Sekai Camera contents on a map of PC's web site. Sekai Camera Web displays air tags in sequence. Also users can view air tags list or post comments on air tags as well as find friends on Twitter, Facebook or foursquare to follow them on Sekai Life, social network on Sekai Camera.

ITmedia 8/19/2010

Aug 18, 2010

Hitomedia launches WePublish, ebook creating service

Hitomedia jointly with Obun Publishing starts to provide WePublish, ebook creating service for individuals. In addition to creating and publishing free ebook contents, it allows on-demand publishing of a real book starting from one copy.

The online service consists of WePublish, ebook sales site, native viewer application, and Online Editor, ebook creating site. Hitomedia runs WePublish and develops the viewer application, while Obun Publishing prvoides Online Editor and on-demand publishing service.

The viewer application is available only for iPad, planning to provide iPhone version until the end of August. CEO of Hitomedia says, "Web has a issue of illegal copy, and ePub format is optimized for horizontal writing, so we adopt original format so that vertical writing is possible to read and take the form of a native application.

Venture Now 8/17/2010 

COMEE, Web-based manga sharing community

Comee started to provide manga sharing community service on Web which allows both professionals and amateurs to post manga contents. It is viewable from only browsers and also available from iPhone and iPad.

Within this year, it plans to provide paid contents aiming to develop the service to market place where authors publish and sell their contents.

Venture Now 8/17/2010

Groupon buys Q:pod, coupon group buying service

The largest coupon group buying service, Groupon in US, acquires a majority stake in Q:pod. Followed by acquisition of Unoh by Zynga, US leading Internet company buys Japanese startup.

Groupon accepts allocation of new shares of Q:pod and acquires over half of issued stock. The amount of investment is considered to be around $10 million.

Q:pod was founded in this June with 60 employees. Groupon plans to provide the service with Groupon brand.

Nikkei 8/18/2010 

Aug 17, 2010

[Asiajin] Gree And DeNA Competition Heats Up: Both Announce Cash Rewards To New Employees

Asiajin 8/17/2010
DeNA, who runs Mobage Town, one of Japan’s most successful social networks, sparked a hiring war yesterday to post their new incentive reward. On the announcement, DeNA tells they will pay extra 2 million yen($23,400) besides annual salary to newly hired engineers who directly applied via their website and is approved between August 15th to October 31st.
An astounding coincidence happened the same 16th, Gree, who was just confirmed to became Japan’s No.1 social networking service few days ago, tweeted on their official Twitter account @gree_news that they will pay at most 2 million yen($23,400) as a preparation fee for engineers join to Gree between August 15th and November 30th. The period is one month longer here. ...

Aug 16, 2010

Yahoo! Japan to go into location based advertisement by acquiring Cirius Technology

Yahoo acquires Cirius Technology, providing mobile ads linked with location information. Yahoo aims to acquire all shares.

Cirius was founded in 2004. It develops technology distributing advertisement for mobile users in an area that advertiser specifies using GPS or location information of base stations.

Nikkei 8/16/2010

Aug 13, 2010

GREE Expects 54 - 60 Billion Yen Revenue This Year

GREE released its account settlement of the last business year ending in June 2010. The revenue is 35.3 billion yen which is 2.5 times of the previous year and the operating profit increased by 2.3 times to 19.5 billion yen.

The SNS operator sees 54 to 60 billion yen of revenue and 27 to 30 billion yen of operating profit this year.

ITmedia 8/13/2010

Aug 12, 2010

Human Translation Service, myGengo raises 50 million yen

myGengo announced to raise 50 million yen from 10 angel investors here and abroad. myGengo is a translation platform which matches over 1000 of multi-national translators registered on the site and clients. The price is divided into 3 layers depending on level of translators. In April, the Tokyo-based company launched an API allowing customers to introduce the human translation service into their own web sites.

Following investors and others collectively take 15% of the company's share.
   - Felix Miller ( founder)
   - Dave McClure (Silicon Valley based angel investor. He invests through his operating fund, 500 Startups)
   - Christoph Janz (DealPilot and PageFlakes founder)
   - Brian Nelson  (ValueCommerce CEO)
   - Benjamin Joffe (Plus 8 Star founder)
   - Joshua Schachter (Delicious founder)

CNET 8/12/2010

Aug 10, 2010

menue Starts Manga Oukoku, Ecomic App For iPhone

The application is an iPhone version of Keitai Manga Oukoku distributing e-comic for feature phones. The app is free and comics are charged. The company plans to distribute 1000 titles within this year.

Keitai Watch 8/10/2010

Bluem Launches Movie Specific Coupon Group Buying Site, Drepass

Drepass sells coupons which theaters plan including old movies. The service starts on 16 of August collaborating with Shinjuku Wald 9, cinema complex in Shinjuku, Tokyo, inviting requests of which movie to want to watch at the theater on Twitter. The company is established in this July.

ITmedia 8/10/2010

Aug 9, 2010

GREE Launches Web Site for iPhone

GREE launches the site as a beta version, which allows users to use main features of GREE with an interface optimized for iPhone's touch panel.

The release version is planned to make possible to sign-up and to use avatars and games. Also it is developing a native application.

CNET 8/9/2010

CyberAgent Investment Makes Additional Investment In UltiZen Games, Chinese Game Developer

CyberAgent Investment invests in Ultizen Games through CA-JAIC China Internet Fund, cooperating fund with Japan Asia Investment.

The market volume of online game in China is growing after surpassing 300 billion yen in 2009.

RBB Today 8/6/2010

Aug 6, 2010

CCC Affiliates Fujisan, Online Shopping Site Of Magazine

CCC, DVD rental shop,TSUTAYA, operator, partners with Fujisan Magazine Service by obtaining 26.67% of shares with 167 million yen. The percentage will be 33.33% by taking new shares that Fujisan plans to issue in late August.

Fujisan operates which sells over 8,000 magazines including back number. It also deals more than 400 digital magazines, 350 of which is available with iPhone/iPad.

In addition to linking magazine sales with TSUTAYA shops and other CCC's services, both companies plan to launch ebook service.

ITmedia 8/4/2010

Aug 5, 2010

Social Game Provider, Gummy Launches Ticket Group Buying Site, GumiTike

Gummy breaks into social commerce business with the group buying site. The site will be launched on August 6.

Gumitike is run with know-how of, which is one of Chinese largest group buying site operated by Oak Pacific Interactive, Gummy's parents company. As one of the method, Gumitike adopts point grant by user invitation system which has succeeded to sell 150,000 ticket a day in Beijing.

CNET 8/5/2010

Gurunavi Partners With Piku Media To Launch Gourmet Coupon Group Buying Site

A restaurant search site operator, Gurunavi, announced alliance with Piku Media running a daily coupon site, Piku. The new site will be launched in September.

MarkeZine 8/5/2010

Niconico Doga Surpasses 900,000 Premium Users

Premium user is a paid service with 525 yen per month. The users can have various benefit such as premium exclusive line allowing to view video smoothly and priority to upload videos, to view in busy time, and live streaming. Niwango predicts the number will surpass 1 million within this year.

CNET 8/4/2010

Bizreach Launches Coupon Group Buying Service, LUXA

LUXA starts in Tokyo for the first area, followed by Yokohama on August 6 and Sendai on August 17. It plans to expand areas among major cities of the whole country.

There are already about 20 companies starting coupon group buying service. The company explains the difference with other services that it starts based on users of its job matching site, Bizreach.

Bizreach focuses on jobs with over 10 million yen of annual salary. A number of the members of the service surpasses 35 thousands. Among the members, requests for courtesy services such as credit card services are offering are increasing. Also many businesses have asked to promote their services targeting for its members with over 10 million yen of annual salary. LUXA is developed to link those members and businesses each other.

It targets business persons with high Internet literacy and high-income and also late 20's and 30's women.

CNET 8/5/2010

KDDI Invests In Tonchidot

KDDI invests 450 million yen in Tonchidot providing Sekai Camera which is popular application for iPhone and other smartphones. The share is not disclosed but considered to be under 20 %.

Sekai Camera displays information over smartphone's camera view, which is called Augmented Reality (AR). It is grabbing attention as a popular iPhone application from Japan with over 1 million download around the world.

Nikkei 8/5/2010

[TechCrunch] Zynga Buys Tokyo-Based Startup Unoh

TechCrunch 8/5/2010
Japan’s biggest business daily, The Nikkei, has just reported on its website that social gaming giant Zynga has acquired Tokyo-based startup Unoh for “several billion Yen” (one billion Yen currently translates to $11.6 million). Neither Zynga nor Unoh have officially confirmed the news yet
The Japanese startup, which develops games for both cell phones and PCs, has so far been largely active in its home market only. Unoh’s current hit title is called Machitsuku (“Build a City” in Japanese), a free game with a virtual item-based business model. Machitsuku passed the three million user mark on Mixi, Japan’s largest social network (20 million members), just last week.

Aug 4, 2010

e-Comic magazine, "Dengeki Comic Japan" to be launched

Ascii Media Works announced to launch Dengeki Comic Japan, e-comic magazine in December. Prior to the launch, pre-first issue will be sold on Voyager's Riso Shoten in this fall. The pre-first and first issues will be free and from the second issue it will be sold with 500 yen.

At first only Japanese version is to be released but it plans to publish English and Chinese version.

TechWave 8/4/2010

Atamasoft raises 36 million yen from Mitsubishi UFJ Capital and Sansei Capital

Atamasoft provides contents based around quiz to business customers as an OEM. The company also provides applications to Moba-ge and mixi as well as operates CGM site, quiz-ken.

Venture Now 8/3/2010

[TechCrunch] Flashy HD Movie Editing Tool LoiLoScope Adds Online Sharing

TechCrunch 8/3/2010
The web certainly sees no shortage of video editing software, but there are some factors that make LoiLoScope, a movie editing program made by a Japanese startup called LoiLo, stand out from the crowd.

Other than in its home market, LoiLoScope has been flying pretty much under the radar so far, even though it looks flashier than most of the video processing tools out there, offers a ton of different functions (in the full/paid version, at least) and is designed to be easy to use. The software is available in 16 languages, including English, Chinese, Japanese, and German. ...

Aug 3, 2010

Groupon Now gathering discount coupons

Cereja Technology launches Groupon Now, an aggregater of coupon group buying services. Coupon group buying service gathers buyers on web site for coupons of restaurants or beauty salons and allows buyers to buy coupons only when a certain number of buyers gather.

In Japan a lot of the services launches from this year. Most of those sites provides one coupon a day, which makes users to have to look around each site to find a coupon they want.

Groupon Now crawls 14 sites and provides the information in bulk.

CNET 8/3/2010

Pado launches coupon group buying site, CooPa on Aug 5

CooPa is a group buying service of coupons. One coupon a day for each category is sold. At the launch, 8 categories are prepared such as relaxation, school, beauty salon, beauty clinic, living, gourmet, hotel, and leisure.

Pado promotes the service with not only online word of mouth, but also using staffs of its publishing freepaper, Pado which has housewives readers who have interest in coupons. It plans to start from Tokyo and then extend main cities throughout the country.

CNET 8/3/2010

Alfasado releases ePublisher, Movable Type based ebook solution

ePublisher packages ePub format templates for Movable Type 5's theme, plug-in to generate and download ePub/mobi format files, and ebook creating feature based on Power CMS for MT, CMS for Movable Type. It allows users to edit and publish online manuals of HTML or blogs as an ebook with favorite Movable Type 5's user interface.

There are two license types, one for individuals or end-user customers and the other for ebook production businesses.

Internet Watch 8/3/2010

[Asiajin] SpinningWorks Introduces iPad App To Create Social Media Of E-book Readers

Asiajin 8/3/2010
On Saturday, Tokyo-based tech start-up SpinningWorks introduced the alpha version of the iPad viewer app for clipping your favorite parts of e-books and sharing them with the others, which is called Qlippy.

Qlippy is a combination of a website and the iPad app, and allows you to import EPUB-formatted content via iTunes and to share the text you’ve clipped with other users over the Internet.  EPUB is a free and open e-book standard by the International Digital Publishing Forum(IDPF). ...

[JCN] CyberAgent Reports Third Quarter Results; Net Income Up 329%

JCN Network 7/29/2010
CyberAgent, a Tokyo-based leader in Internet media markets, has announced results for the third quarter ended June 30, 2010.

Net sales for the Group in the third quarter cumulative consolidated period were JPY 70,269 million (up 0.2% from JPY 70,142 million in the same period of the previous year). This constitutes an increase of 16.8% excluding the effects of excluding netprice from the consolidated subsidiaries, due to the steady expansion of business related to Ameba, etc. Increased profits accompanying the transition of Ameba business to profitability and the improved productivity of the Internet advertising agency business allowed operating income to reach JPY 7,038 million (up 146.3% from JPY 2,857 million in the same period of the previous year). Ordinary income reached JPY 7,031 million (up 151.1% from JPY 2,800 million in the same period of the previous year). Quarterly net income reached JPY 4,871 million (up 329.6% from JPY 1,134 million in the same period of the previous year) as a result of recording of tax expenses, etc. ...

Samurai Incubate starts Samurai Accounting supporting eary stage startups

Samurai Accounting has three plans, incorporation procedures support service for individual entrepreneurs, accounting support service for seed and early stage startups, and IPO support service. Certified public accountants and tax accountants with experience of IPO procedure at accounting firms support financial strategy and incorporation procedures.

CNET 8/2/2010

DeNA has capital tie-up with Success Networks

Success Networks provides Moba7, Pachinko and Pachislo portal, on Moba-ge-town. DeNA obtained 14.99% of shares. DeNA sends an external board member.

CNET 8/2/2010

Aug 2, 2010

Ideacross releases deveice with Android and Felica

Ideacross releases a new device, NEXTOUCH in August which has 10.1 inch touch panel, Android OS and contactless IC card, Felica. The device is provided for venues with consumer services such as restaurants, beauty salon, and real estate. A visitor gets e-coupons by holding a mobile with Felica over the device.

Nikkei Business 8/2/2010

Coupon group buying site, Q:pod launches the service in Osaka and Fukuoka

Q:pod started the service in Tokyo and Kanagawa area on July 2. The company plans to extend the areas to 15 within three months from its launch.

Internet Watch 8/2/2010

Premium Agency raised around 300 million yen from 5 VCs

Premium Agency announced to raise 306.9 million yen in total from Itocuh Technology Ventures, Nissei Capital, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, Mizuho Capital, and Toyo Capital.

With the funding, the company plans to go into social game business and 3DCG Internet business based on its high quality 3DCG contents developing technology.

Venture Now 7/30/2010

[Asiajin] Report: Rakuten To Link Japan And Taiwan Online Malls

Asiajin 8/1/2010
Japan’s biggest business daily, The Nikkei, today reports that the country’s biggest e-commerce company, Rakuten, is planning to links its Japanese and Taiwanese online malls so that customers from these countries can order products from both Japan- and Taiwan-based merchants. ...

Tonchidot explained a new vision, AR games for Sekai Camera

Tonchidot released a new vision for Sekai Camera, AR application. Sekai Camera is AR application for iPhone displaying information of the location over image of iPhone camera.

Sekai Appli is a platform which allows to play social AR game on Sekai Camera. For the first application, Bakuhatsu Ca-boon is launched which allows users to compete by setting or removing bombs on AR space.

At the press conference, Ambition's developed AR online RPG, Sekai Yuusha was introduced. While walking around a real city, users defeat monsters.

CNET 8/2/2010

GMO MakeShop provides Social Group Buying Function linked with social media

GMO MakeShop adds Social Group Buying Function to its online-shop developing service, MakeShop.

The function allows sellers to sell discount coupons if a certain number of buyers gathers in the time limit. It also has a function to post information about the coupons on twitter and Facebook.

Web-tan forum 7/31/2010

DeNA makes tremendous growth reaching 50 billion yen of revenue for the first half

The forecast of the first half of 2010 (Apr. to Sep.) is as follows. A revenue is 50 billion yen and an operating profit is 24 billion yen. The revenue exceeds that of the last whole year.

Both in-house developed games such as Kaito Royale and third parties' games are growing favorably, which is a growth engine. Social games related sales including item sales, in-game ads and sales of in-house games to mixi is 15.9 billion yen which is 1.5 times as the last quarter.

The company plans to launch Yahoo! Moba-ge, social game site for PC and also makes it possible for smartphone to access. It also focuses on global expansion aiming at the global number one company of a social game. Ms. Namba, CEO of the company said that the company is actually very close to that position.

DoCoMo To Buy Out U.S. Video Software Firm For Y10bn

NTT DoCoMo plans to invest around 10 billion yen before the end of the year to turn U.S. wireless multimedia software firm PacketVideo into a wholly owned unit, The Nikkei learned Sunday.

In July 2009, DoCoMo acquired a roughly 35% stake in the California-based company from parent NextWave Wireless Inc. DoCoMo has now reached an agreement with NextWave to acquire the remaining shares.

Nikkei 8/2/2010