Dec 27, 2010

T.C.FACTORY raised 168M yen from KDDI and others

T.C.FACTORY revealed that it allocated new shares of 168 million yen to KDDI and Yasuda Enterprise Development.

T.C.FACTORY develops original data base in entertainment domain such as packages information of over 20 million of CD, movies, and DVD and over 4 million of artists, actors, and authors. Based on it, the company provides information service including licensing business by providing API. In May, it also released DrillSpinX, iPhone app allowing users to check persons or productions which is currently popular.

The company uses the capital for recruiting human resource to promote B2B2C/B2C business. In addition, it develops a new service linking with LISMO, music distribution service of KDDI for au mobile phone and PC.

Venture Now 12/24/2010

Rei-Frontier partners with Netprice to provide AR technology acquires new shares of Rei-Frontier to cooperate taking advantage of specialities each other.

Rei-Frontier is a technology company developing applications using its original AR technology. Among them, Lalacolle, communication application leveraging location information and avatar, has 5000 users since its launch on August. It aims to produce new services combining its AR and Netprice's e-commerce.

Netprice said it hopes to utilize Rei-Frontier's technology to strengthen their iPhone application.

Venture Now 12/27/2010

Dec 22, 2010

Butterfly forms capital alliance with Recruit, Koei Tecmo, and D2C /Second Times

In order to accelerate its business such as social games, smartphone apps, and global expansion, Butterfly announced that it partners with Recruit, Koei Tecmo Holdings, and D2 Communications. All of them acquires the company's shares from Ant Capital Partners, existing share holder.

With this alliance, Recruit holds 14.76%, Koei Tecmo and D2C have 4.33%. Butterfly also partnered with DeNA in this summer, which holds 14.99%.

The company plans to release iButterfly plus, location-based social game for smartphone, jointly with Dentsu.

Second Times 12/20/2010

Dec 21, 2010

Internet business market is predicted to become 18 trillion yen in 2015, 1.5 times larger than in 2010 /Venture Now

Nomura Research Institute released analysis and market prediction of three major IT markets; Internet business, mobile, and hardware.

Wireless broadband will increase from 240 billion yen in 2010 to 420 million yen in 2015 by penetration of high speed services such as WiMAX and HSPA as well as introduction of LTE.

Cumulative shipments of e-book devices, which gathers momentum centered around large device manufacturers, will be 14 million by 2015. E-book contents market is considered to reach 240 billion yen in 2015.

A whole Internet business including e-commerce and Internet advertisement will grow from 12 trillion yen in 2010 to 18 trillion yen mainly due to contribution of growing mobile market.

Venture Now 12/21/2010

CyberAgent sets up local corporation for venture investment in China to expand the fund size to 10B yen /Venture Now

CyberAgent Ventures transformed former representative office in Beijing, China to the corporation. In addition, the corporate VC launched an office in Shenzhen as a new branch for investment in China.

It plans to expand the size of CA-JAIC China Internet Fund II, L.P. jointly set up with Japan Asia Investment from current 1.2 billion yen (US$ 15 million) to 10 billion yen (US$ 125 million). It targets not only smartphone or social application developers, but also overall Internet related business including EC.

Venture Now 12/20/2010

Dec 20, 2010

e-book distribution system provider, Media Do partners with CCC /

Culture Convenience Club (CCC) and Nagoya-based e-book distribution platform operator, Media Do announced an alliance regarding e-book contents procurement and private brand contents development. Also CCC announced that it reached agreement on investment in Media Do.

CCC sells 90.7 billion yen of books and magazines at TSUTAYA, its franchised stores, and operates e-commerce site, TSUTAYA Online selling books or entertainment contents.

Media Do is a startup company providing contents distributors with services centered around its originally developed digital contents distribution platform, Contents Aggregation System (CAS). CAS allows users to unify management of  handling copyright, digitalizing contents, calculating, charging, and attracting customers. The system is adopted with Docomo Market Book Store of NTT Docomo and Softbank Book Store of Softbank Mobile as an e-book distribution system. 12/20/2010

Spacyz raised 45M yen from CyberAgent Ventures partnering in ads technology /Venture Now

Along with the fundraising, Spacyz accepts 3 external board members from CyberAgent. Spacyz provides adcloud, ASP of ad network development and operation for PC and mobile from the end of 2009. It has various matching algorithms such as category match or keyword match using Bayesian filtering and area match which matches viewers' area and ads.

CyberAgent is able to distribute ads utilizing contents targeting or re-targeting in advertising for Ameba. The company considers that it is possible to offer ads services based on more detailed data to clients by adding audience targeting distribution using Spacyz's ads technology to existing advertisement.

Venture Now 12/20/2010

Dec 16, 2010

mobage smartphone version is launched to go global partnering with Samsung /ITmedia

DeNA launched Mobage-town for Smartphone which is available with Web browser of iPhone/Android devices. Users can use community functions and a part of games. Also DeNA partners with Samsung Electronics which pre-installs mobage application on its Android smartphones sold in abroad.

Mobage-town for Smartphone allows users to use the same ID with Mobage-town for feature phones to use community services such as avatar, diary, and circle. A social game, Kaito Royale, is also provided.

It plans to align third parties' games from late February and launch mobage-town native application for iPhone/Android in April.

DeNA also accelerates global expansion. It renames "plus+ Network", a game community platform operated by ngmoco which was acquired by DeNA in October, to "mobage".

It provides social game providers with ngCore, ngmoco's development tool enabling game development efficient. At first, 50 game developers including large makers such as Koei Tecmo Games or Hudson participate as a preceding development partner.

ITmedia 12/15/2010

Dec 15, 2010

Minna no Wedding raised 153.6M yen by allocation of new shares to Globis /Venture Now

Minna no Wedding was founded by spin-off of wedding related information business from DeNA. It operates word-of-mouth site, Minna no Wedding, about preparation of wedding such as choosing place. Its main revenue comes from paid contents of about 4000 wedding places. A number of word-of-mouth is 60,000 as of October.

Venture Now 12/15/2010 

Digital Garage enters e-book business /Nikkei

Internet business incubator, Digital Garage invests in Media Do, Nagoya-based contents distributor to hold around 15% share. It provides manga, magazine, and books for Android smartphone and tablet devices. For sales promotion to consumers, it will utilize Twitter. Major targets are e-books distribution services operated by Softbank Mobile or NTT Docomo.

Media Do was founded on April 1999 and the revenue is about 3 billion yen. It distributes several tens of thousands of e-book titles, which is equivalent to Dainippon Printing or Toppan Printing.

Nikkei 12/15/2010

KDDI distributes music in Asia by acquiring KKBOX based in Taiwan /Nikkei

KDDI agreed on acquiring 76% share of KKBOX, Taiwanese music distribution service provider. KKBOX distributes music for devices such as smartphone and PC in Taiwan and Hong Kong. With the affiliation, it accelerates expanding Asia such as Japan, China, and Singapore from next spring.

The deal is considered to be around 5 billion yen. KKBOX has 7 million users in Taiwan and Hong Kong. It distributes popular music from Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Japan and Korea for smartphone, mobile phone, tablet devices, and PC through Internet. Different from iTunes or LISMO of KDDI, which lets users to download music, it distributes music on servers by streaming using cloud computing technology. In Taiwan, it allows users listen to music as much as they like with 149 Taiwan dollar (415 yen) per month.

Nikkei 12/15/2010

Dec 14, 2010

au allows Groupon Japan to sell coupons on au portal site /TechCrunch Japan

A runaway leader in group coupon service, Groupon Japan announced that it partners with KDDI. KDDI launches "au one coupon", a portal site gathering discount coupon information of restaurants, beauty shops, and leisure shops on December 20. The portal site links with Groupon mobile site, which becomes official site of EZweb from today. The alliance allows users to buy coupons using au's billing service.

In addition, KDDI plans to pre-set  a short-cut of Groupon mobile native application on Android IS04.

TechCrunch Japan 12/14/2010

MSN and Han Game partner to provide social games on MSN Game /Mycom Journal

NHN Japan and Microsoft announced that they partner on online games. They launch co-operating site, MSN Game on planned MSN's renewal day, January 17th, 2011.

MSN Game provides contents on Han Game, online game site operated by NHN Japan. NHN Japan is in charge of developing and procuring game contents, operating game services and community services. Microsoft is in charge of attracting users and selling advertisement on the web site.

130 titles will be prepared for the launch at January 17. Among them, 10 social games, 20 role playing games,  and 10 sports/action games are included.

Mycom Journal 12/14/2010

Technical specifications of mixi Apuri for feature phones are officially adopted by OpenSocial /Internet Watch

mixi announced that its technical specifications of mixi apuri for feature phones are adopted as an official specifications, OpenSocial WAP Extension Specification.

mixi explained that Japanese mobile social technologies will be world's trend with the adoption and plans to disclose specifications to make them as standard.

Internet Watch 12/13/2010

Dec 10, 2010

Nekojarashi raised 60M yen from SBI Investment /Venture Now

Nekojarashi, cloud storage provider, announced that it allocates new shares to three funds operated by SBI Investment to raise 60 million yen.

Nekojarashi was founded on 2006 March providing cloud storage service called MacServer, file sharing service optimized for Mac. The service is used by around 1000 companies centered around creative sectors.

The company will spend the raised capital for R&D and facilities for cloud storage service. It plans to provide global service like Evernote.

Venture Now 12/9/2010

GREE releases iPhone app version of GREE and launches apps platform for smartphone /CNET

GREE launched GREE Platform for smartphone. Development partners are able to provide web apps, iOS apps, and Android apps for social networking service, GREE. Specifications for the platform is published on GREE Developer Center.

Applications using the platform can attract users through communications among GREE users or information on application portal such as new apps, ranking, and my apps. It is available for not only games, but also various category of social applications such as entertainment, lifestyle, commerce, and communication.

GREE has released basic functions of GREE for iPhone and Android as a web application. It added iOS native application on December 6 and Android native app is pre-installed on IS03 of au and plans to expand to other devices.

CNET 12/7/2010

Dec 9, 2010

milog releases AndFriends Beta allowing to share Android apps information /ITmedia

AndFriends is a service which lets Android smartphones users to share which applications they are using with each other. It also allows to see applications of recommended users, to disclose my recommended applications, to view apps ranking within friends, recent activities such as installed apps or run apps, and a widget listing apps in order of usage history.

AndFriends partners with au one Market of KDDI and andronavi of NEC Biglobe to get listed as a prioritized application.

ITmedia 12/7/2010

Dec 3, 2010

DeNA and CyberAgent jointly discover and support social game developers in China and Japan /DeNA Press Release

DeNA invests 500M yen respectively in CA-JAIC China Internet Fund II, which CyberAgent Ventures and Japan Asia Investment (China) jointly set up targeting Internet related startups in greater China, and CA Incubation I, which CyberAgent Ventures will set up targeting Internet startups in Japan. CyberAgent Ventures discovers and supports potential social game developers through these funds and aims to launch social games on Mobage-town, Yahoo! Mobage, and global platform for smartphone in the future.

DeNA 12/3/2010

Microsoft Innovation Award 2010; Innotech, medical software developer won the prize

Microsoft announced the winner of Microsoft Innovation Award 2010 at the event, Microsoft Innovation Day 2010. Innotech's KOACAD won the highest award. KOACAD is a software for medical field, which enables to diagnose knee osteoarthritis.

Four other startups are nominated for an award.
- e-typing by e-typing; typing training software on web, which already have 930 thousands users.
- MTCMS Enterprise by SkyArc System; large scale CMS for enterprises. Based on Movable Type, it can handle large scale web site with several tens of thousands pages and has other features such as workflow, editing on web browser, and migration from Word documents.
- Venta for Silverlight by Step Wise; Cloud sales management software using Windows Azure for backend, and Silverlight for frontend.
- XeBRaL ADDS by XeBRaL; Searching and analyzing solution for companies' disclosed documents provided by SaaS basis.

Cloud Watch 12/3/2010 

Group coupon buying service operator, Kiramex launches KAUPON STORES /TechCrunch jp

Since Piku's launch in April, Groupon clone services are increasing at breakneck speed in Japan. The industry has been more heating up with entry from large Internet media, Recruit, and Groupon itself. Those players increase sales force to expand areas and run a lot of TV commercials on air recently.

In this situation, Kiramex, which is the second launched group coupon buying service, launches KAUPON STORES. The service allows services or restaurants to have their own group buying site. The company charges monthly usage fee for the system and sales commissions. Groupon also announced Groupon Store as a new platform, but Kiramex takes a lead in Japan.

Tech Crunch Japan 12/3/2010

Dec 2, 2010

Group coupon service operator, Solad raises 50M yen from JAIC /Venture Now

Solado operates Minawari which provides group coupon service in and around Tokyo. It also provides a new service called Under 999 focusing on coupon under 999 yen. The startup provides system development service utilizing its know-how of operating coupon site. Pado, Benefit One, and Asatsu DK are customers for the service.

In addition to recruiting employees, Solado plans to develop alliance or acquire other coupon businesses using the capital. It already agreed on acquiring coupon service, "Iine! Gourmet" operated by Onlife.

Venture Now 12/2/2010

[Asiajin] Startups 2010: CyberAgent Ventures Announces To Invest In Five Tech Start-ups

Asiajin 12/1/2010
CyberAgent Ventures, an invest arm of Tokyo’s web business conglomerate CyberAgent, previously known as CyberAgent Investment, announced today the result of Startups 2010 or their program digging up hidden tech start-ups from Japanese market. Five teams were chosen to be financially and physically supported by CyberVentures in the program.
The teams chosen in the program are:
TechMonkey: develops “Loca-Tomo”, a location-based avatar training game app.
Food Foto: provides a service that allows you to share updates with your friends about what you’ve eaten at restaurants and what you’ve cooked.
Mind Palette: develops Snapeee, a picture-based social network having the feature of decorating user’s snapshots.
Tori ningen (meaning ‘bird man’): develops smartphone/tablet education apps for children.
Jipanglish: operates a language learning platform for allowing users to master English in a short time.
CyberAgent Ventures’ “Startup” program has been an annual opportunity for tech start-ups to apply, but there will be two periods a year since the next edition which is scheduled to due next March.

Dec 1, 2010

Infoteria invests in WaveMaker, US-based cloud application development tool vendor /

Infoteria takes 10.7% of WaveMaker Software with the investment to become the largest shareholder. WaveMaker is a development tools for cloud application with concept of "Non-coding" which is used by over 15,000 developers around the world. Its excellent GUI allows developers to reduce development hour drastically.

Infoteria partners with WaveMaker to combine its ASTERIA, data integration technology, with the WaveMaker's GUI. 12/1/2010