Jun 29, 2010

Eagle to provide Our Word Cards, iPhone app backed by Applie fund

Eagle launched Our Word Cards backed by Applie fund which is an application developer support platform provided by ngi group and Music Securities.

Our Word Cards is an iPhone application which allows users to register words in bulk in the same area and situation as a word user looks up in dictionary. For example, when a user looks up "apple", in addition to "Ringo" as a translation, words of the same category of food are displayed to be registered on the word card.

Applie fund sets up contents funds for social application and smartphone application developers and supports fund raising and application development. Eagle's Sumacomu Fund targets to provide four iPhone apps using voice related technology that Eagle develops. Our Word Cards is the first application.

CNET 6/28/2010 

GREE launches first games on its opend GREE Platform including Sakatsuku and Ridge Racer

GREE Platform allows third party to develop social games for GREE, in which 30 companies including major game developers such as Sega and Square Enix join with 40 titles.

GREE was late with mixi and Moba-ge-town for opening a platform, but it aims to expand users by introducing major titles of large game providers.

ITmedia 6/29/2010

FreeBit to propose a takeover bid for Full Speed

FreeBit aims to subsidize Full Speed which provide web advertising service. The CEO and a head of shareholders, Manaho Haga agrees with the takeover.

FreeBit expects to improve existing businesses and extend new businesses by acquiring Full Speed.

CNET 6/28/2010

Cre8system launches iPadZine, ebook posting and downloading service for iPad

iPadZine is a web site which allows users to post and download ebook data of various file types such as PDF, EPUB, text and image. It uses Twitter ID for authentication.

A poster is able to set password for ebooks and also Follow me Shoseki, which is available only for Tiwtter followers. The company plans to allow users to sell ebooks using Paypal.

Venture Now 6/28/2010

[Asiajin] Mixi Introduces New Function To Find And Connect With Colleagues

 Asiajin 6/29/2010
Japan’s biggest social network Mixi (which crossed the 20 million member mark in April) may have just found yet another way to expand its user base and boost engagement. Mixi yesterday introduced a new function that makes it possible to find colleagues from your company on the site and befriend them. ...

Jun 28, 2010

Nobot partners with Mobile-worx and Mojiva for ads distribution overseas

Nobot announced to have a partnership with mobile-worx in Los Angels and Mojiva in New York for advertisement distribution for iPhone and Android. The partnership allows application providers and web site operators using AdMaker. Nobot's ads optimizing service for smartphone, to gain advertisement revenue from mobile-worx's ad network, ZestADZ, which distributes ads in 12 countries, and Mojiva ad network distirbuting over 6,500 ads campaign in 190 countries around the world.

NIkkan Kogyo 6/25/2010

Q:pod to join Groupon race funded by IVP fund

Infinity Ventures LLP (IVP Fund), which is known for investing Rekoo Media, social game provider, and organizing Infinity Venture Summit, invests 200 million yen to join a Groupon race.

IVP and Pakureserve jointly establish Q:pod which has 20 staffs. Q:pod provides not only PC, but also feature phones from the start, and smart phone within July.

In addition to 20 staffs of Q:pod, Pakureserve's 200 sales force are in charge of gathering coupons from local shops and restaurants. Within 3 month from launch, it plans to start services in 15 cities including Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama as well as Osaka and other cities, which is more speedy expansion than other competitors.

TechCrunch Japan 6/28/2010

Jun 25, 2010

TPW and SBT co-provides file sharing service on cloud

TripodWorkds (TPW) and Softbank Technology (SBT) jointly develop "Share IT! Fits", a large scale file sharing service for business customers on a cloud service platform, "Share IT!" of SBT.

Share IT! Fits combines SBT's security and cloud integration technologies and TPW's security product, GIGAPOD, which has more than 1000 customers.

Asahi 6/25/2010

Agoop bakcs up Softbank group with GIS/GPS solutions

Founded in 2009, Softbank group company, Agoop provides unique solutions such as Agoop Mobile and Agoop Data. Agoop Mobile streamlines operations of sales and field support with mobile devices. Utilizing GPS and GIS, it allows sales or filed service person to input and share information promptly. This service is used by Softbank Mobile allowing field support person to recognize the other places to visit for maintenance on map of mobile devices in real time. Agoop Mobile works on various platforms such as iPhone, Windows Phone, Android and iPad. Different from similar services, Agoop Mobile has a lot of features such as cutting out useless data, which comes from know-how of Softbank group.

Agoop Data allows users to estimate population distribution by time line. The data was originally developed in order to decide where to set up base stations of Softbank Mobile.

BCN Bizline 6/24/2010

Android Application Award 2010 Spring

The grand prize went to tWakeUpCallMaker of Tao Software, which is application to generate alarm clock application.There are three second prize winners, Fontroid, Hatena Monolith and Machipittan. The technology award went to PhotoSpeak and the look&feel award went to Tsubuyaki Bunko, the student award went to Tsuwa rireki calender, and the global award went to PICTRHYTHM.

A3 2010 Spring is a business contest aiming to support development of Android applications organized by Nikkei BP in cooperation with Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications and NTT Docomo.

IT Pro 6/24/2010

Jun 24, 2010

FreeBit releases Android based cloud phot flame, ServersMan Cast@net

ServersMan cast@net is a digital photo flame with Android OS and ServersMan software installed. FreeBit developed the product with intention to get cloud computing penetrate into daily life. It also functions as netbook.

ServerMan Cast@net has automatically working Web server, which allows users to upload photos direclty to the device. It also allows to upload from digital camera using Eye-Fi, SD card with Wi-Fi function.

CNET 6/24/2010

Jun 23, 2010

Samurai Incubate Summit

Samurai Incubate held invitation-only conference, Samurai Venture Summit. Supported by EC Navi, it was taken place in a bar located in its office, AJITO.

SVS had 50 participants among 30 startups which Samurai Incubate is investing. Its main program,. Samurai Shout had 20 presentations of 2 minutes from startups. It gave an award as Samurai Prize to three persons, Nokisaki.com, search and reservation of shop spaces, Orugaro, hands-on management consulting service, and Karakuri, social scheduling service.

Venture Now 6/23/2010

Jun 22, 2010

paperboy&co. launches Puboo, e-publishing service for individuals on its book review community, Booklog

Booklog is the one of the largest book review community site with 17 million items and 280,000 users which allows users to put books, CDs, and DVDs on an interface like a real book shelf.

peparboy & co. focuses attention on individual e-publishing among ebook market expected to grow rapidly and launches Puboo which allows individuals to make ebooks with ease and low cost by passing publishers or printers.

Mainichi 6/22/2010

RIDE AND CONNECT added chat feature into Denwa-cho Navi

RIDE AND CONNECT added chat system for real-time communication to its operating Denwa-cho Navi, telephone directory service with word of mouth posting.

Denwa-cho Navi has not only location information of retail premises, but also coupons and press releases. It has 7 million of posted retail premises and 37,000 of member users as of June 2010.

The company plans to implement real area marketing feature using GPS and also release a service for Asian countries such as China and Thailand.

Venture Now 6/21/2010

Digitalize launched area targeting ads

Digitalize launched area targeting advertisement service distributing specific ads based on an area where site visitors live by prefecture level at its operating Pitta!, ads market place/ads network.

Pitta! deals with 9000 of media and distributes 1.1 billion impressions of ads a month. The company uses data of IP address by prefecture level from Cyber Area Search's SURFPOINT, which allows to specify areas of site visitors and distribute ads only for users in defined areas.

Venture Now 6/21/2010

Venture investment decreased by 40%

Venture investment from major 20 VCs in 2009 was 63.7 billion yen, which is significant decrease by 40% from the previous year. Nikkei conducted a survey to major 20 VCs. VC investment dropped by half of 2007 with 139.5 billion yen.

Drastic decrease of IPO accelerated to set up funds in Asian countries and regions such as China and Korea. SVI Holdings which established funds in Vietnam and Taiwan increased investment in overseas to 13 billion yen making double as 2 years ago. Overseas investment from the major 20 VCs share 40% in 2009, which was 30% in 2007.

Taking the trend into consideration, Japan Venture Capital Association signed an agreement with Korean VC association about cooperation in such as information disclosure of startups.

Most of VCs expect improvement in 2010, but it will not be a drastic increase and the number of IPO is expected to be around 30 or 40, which was 19 in 2009.

Nikkei 6/22/2010

Jun 21, 2010

MiraiYosoo opens CROSS COOP Shinjuku, the largest size of incubation office in Tokyo with 250 capacity

MiraiYosoo is operating three incubation offices, CROSS COOP Roppongi, CROSS COOP Akasaka, and CROSS COOP Aoyama and also has been providing incubation service for about 350 startups centered around IT for three and a half year since its establishment.

Asahi.com 6/21/2010

Nicopon joins Groupon race focusing on Smartphone with real time ads

Nicopon is a premium ticket service operated by Atrantis which provides ad server and ad network. Nicopon is based on Groupon model which is crowded with several players along with Twitter boom. Atrantis tries to differentiate from others by targeting on mobile and take advantage of its main business of ad network. Its web site has interface optimized for iPhone which allows users to show the display when using a coupon, rather than to print it.

TechCrunch Japan 6/21/2010

Solad launches Minawari, collaborative purchasing coupon service

Minawari is a coupon site based on One Deal a Day model, providing one item or service in each area a day.

Venture Now 6/18/2010

Jun 18, 2010

Bitway invests in a US startup to launch manga distribution business

A subsidiary of Toppan Printing, Bitway announced to invest US$ 750,000 in Crunchyroll, anime distribution venture in the US. Bitway distributes manga for mobile in Japan and plans to extend the business to North America cooperating with Crunchyroll having 6 million active users.

Nikkei 6/15/2010

Jun 17, 2010

[Asiajin]Rakuten Subsidizes French No.1 E-Commerce Company PriceMinister

Asiajin 6/17/2010
Rakuten has just announced that they bought 100% of French E-commerce company PriceMinister S.A. The purchase is planned to done in July 2010 for 200 million Euro (22.5 billion yen).

Netprice and Digital Garage to co-launch Qpon, collaborative purchasing service

Qpon sells discount coupon from such as restaurants, spas and hotels of just one shop a day in each area in principal. If a certain number of buyers gather, they will get the coupon. At first it starts only for Tokyo area.

The marketing method to gather large number of customers by setting limited period for sale with drastic discount is called flash marketing, which is represented by Groupon in the US. In Japan, there increases the services such as piku of Piku Media and KAUPON of Kiramex.

CNET 6/17/2010

Castalia launches iUniv, social learning service based around lecture videos

iUniv is a platform which allows users to learn with lecture videos and audios of universities on the Internet. Mainly among the famous universities, it has over 65,000 lecture contents. By registering users can view lecture contents, and also attach notes for time line of videos and share them with other users.

The company plans to release iPhone app within June and is developing app for Android and iPad.

CNET 6/16/2010

Jun 16, 2010

P+KACHI launched restaurant site, P+KACHI.com beta

P+KACHI.com has evaluation based on 1.48 million members of 1,000 of restaurants which use its mobile promotion ASP, P+KACHI system. In addition to P+KACHI system restaurants, it uses HotPepper's API to allow users to search 30,000 of restaurants.

VentureNow 6/15/2010

Phyzios goes to final round for Global Entrepreneurship Competition

Global Entrepreneurship Competition is to choose No.1 venture in the world held at Hit Barcelona 2010. 21 companies go to the final and make presentation. Phyzios is the only one Japanese company.

Phyzios provides various contents utilizing physical simulation technology developed at University of Tokyo for entertainment.

CNET 6/15/2010

[Tech Wave]Social games to be a 3 trillion yen market within 2 to 3 years - Interview with Mobage town

Tech Wave 6/15/2010
Mobage Town is a mobile social game platform that has continued to succeed since it's initial launch. Takeshi Otsuka of DeNA, which operates the popular platform, said that membership numbers and page views "are continuing to grow, exceeding our expectation." I had an interview with the manager of DeNA at the Infinity Venture Summit about their "Cross-Device, Cross-Borders" strategy for Mobage Town. ...

[TechCrunch]Japanese Gaming Company DeNA Sets Up $27.5 Million Investment Fund

TechCrunch 6/15/2010
On the heels of Zynga’s $150 million investment from Japanese media firm Softbank Capital, Japanese gaming company DeNA has announced a $27.5 million fund to make investments in the social gaming community. DeNA holds an 83.3 percent stake in the new fund, which is called Incubate Fund No. 1 Limited Partnership. Other investors include a number of private Japan-based investors. ...

Jun 15, 2010

[GamesBeat]Zynga gets $147M investment from Japan’s SoftBank

GamesBeat 6/14/2010
Social gaming traffic has hit little hiatus. But the companies making social games are still hot. That’s one conclusion from a big deal announced today: Zynga has raised $147 million from Japan’s SoftBank, according to Bloomberg. ...

Jun 14, 2010

Rakuten To Launch Online Marketplace In Europe

Rakuten plans to set up Internet shopping sites in Europe as early as this year, President Hiroshi Mikitani said in a recent interview with The Nikkei.

The virtual shopping mall operator, which has been preparing to launch operations in China, the U.S. and Indonesia, will "announce plans this year for its entry into five other nations," he noted.

The U.K., France and Germany are seen as potential markets. Rakuten is currently exploring options in those countries, such as setting up joint ventures with local companies or pursuing corporate buyouts, according to Mikitani.

Nikkei 6/11/2010

maqs launches mobile ads market place automatically scoring characteristic of mobile sites

maqs uses its original real time scoring engine to analyze characteristics of mobile sites and distribute optimized ads for advertiser' requirements.

VentureNow 6/9/2010

Alike allocates new shares of 50 million yen to Recruit Incubation Partners

Alike operates Web service, Alike.jp which users share location information such as restaurants, hotels, and beauty shops users or their friends have visited. It also allows users to view locations other users registered who have similar lifestyle and communicate with them.

VentureNow 6/14/2010

VOLTAGE, mobile dating game provider, made IPO on Tosho Mothers

VOLTAGE is a pioneer to make a category of dating game for mobile. It is still a runaway leader in the market.

TechCrunch 6/11/2010

Piku Media raised 150 million yen

Piku Media was founded as ENGLISHOK to operate English conversation class and membership courtesy service of hotels and restaurants in 2004. It launched Piku, word of mouth discount service from April of 2010 and changed the company name to Piku Media.

CNET 6/11/2010

Softsign sets up joint venture with Runsystem to start mobile SNS in Vietnam

Runsytstem develops mobile games in Vietnam. The joint venture is R'S GAME joint stock company. Softsign takes 49% of share, and Runsystem taks 51%. The JV will be set up in this August.

VentureNow 6/11/2010

[Asiajin]Japanese recipe site Cookpad in overdrive, doubles sales and profits

Asiajin 6/13/2010
In case you didn’t know: Japan is the only country in the world that has a listed recipe site, Cookpad. After going IPO at the “Mothers” section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange last July, its current market cap stands at a staggering $370 million. ...

Freebit goes into monthly charge consumer electronics business

The first product is ServerMan Scooop HD, Web camcorder with 500 yen for a month. Its subsidiary, Exemode develops the hardware and Dream Train Internet will be in charge of user support and billing.

Nikkan Kogyo 6/11/2010

Jun 9, 2010

Colopl plans to provide location infromation platform

Location-based game operator, Colopl, held an event, Coloca DAY 2010, and explained its strategy. In the event, Naruatsu Baba, CEO of the company talked as follows. "Colopl has launched services such as Coloca and Twitter client, Colotwi around Colopl. In the near future, we would like to expand the range of users by preparing location information platform in which various players will participate."

The company has been doing R&D for many years of mechanism to eliminate fraud of location information. It plans to open the system as a platform.

Keitai Watch 6/8/2010

MicaRed releases OverTheAir, iPad/iPhone app to view files on online storage

MicaRed started to provide OverTheAir which allows users to access to online storages with WebDAV standard on App Store for free. In addition to remote file sharing services on cloud such as MobileMe iDisk and Box.net, it allows to access to WebDAV servers on premise.

VentureNow 6/8/2010

Jun 8, 2010

Sharp, Voyager To Unify Japan's E-Book Standards

Sharp and e-book publisher Voyager Japan will work with the government to standardize a file format for Japanese-language electronic books.

The government is to announce plans for common specifications on Tuesday. It aims to draw up a draft by the end of the year through a cross-ministerial panel to be launched soon.

Currently, Sharp's XMDF and Voyager Japan's .book are the two main file formats for Japanese e-books. The two firms will cooperate to create a single format to be used by writers, publishers and printing houses. Dai Nippon Printing and Toppan Printing are among the companies that will participate in the project.

The move was prompted by the proliferation of devices for reading e-books, including the domestic launch of Apple's iPad tablet computer last month.

[Asiajin]Japanese mobile gaming startup GREE to open US and China offices within a year

Asiajin 6/8/2010
Japan’s social networks seem to be hitting a ceiling growth-wise, and apparently they increasingly feel the need to go abroad in order to grow. ...
... So far, only one of the big three of Japan’s social networking world has chosen to stay home: mobile gaming startup GREE. But Yoshikazu Tanaka, GREE’s CEO and the world’s second youngest self-made billionaire (following Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg) at 32, today announced some big news via Twitter.

Yahoo! Comic for iPad launched

Yahoo started to provide iPad app allowing to view free magazines, Yahoo! Comic, which is to be downloaded at App Store for free.

Mycom 6/7/2010

Overtex provides e-publishing solution to publish for both iPhone and iPad at once

Overtex's viewer application, Touch Books Reader, uses original data format based on HTML, which allows to release ebook for both iPad and iPhone at once by making one application. PDF, text format and word format are available.

Overtex Group provides the solution for self publishing for individual, while Impress Touch provides it for business customers. As the first ebook which Touch Books Reader is used, Tokyo IT Shimbun of Impress Touch is available on Apple App Store for free.

MarkeZine 6/7/2010

[GamesBeat]RockYou gets $10M from SoftBank as part of Asian expansion

GamesBeat 6/7/2010
Social apps publisher RockYou said today that it has raised $10 million in funding from SoftBank and it has acquired a majority of the shares in its joint venture RockYou Asia. ...

Jun 7, 2010

Image Solutions jointly with Kanshin! releases community EC

Community EC is an EC development solution allowing users to trace word of mouth information and buy items they are interested in. Users post reviews about items with keywords which connects with other items by the keywords. Other users can trace the connections and buy items.

VentureNow 6/4/2010

Morpho launchs an application to generate panorama photos in real time at Ovi Store of Nokia

Morpho started to provide Morpho QuickPanorama Pro, panorama image generating application for N900 at Nokia's online application store, Ovi Store.

Morpho QuickPanorama Pro allows to generate panorama images by moving camera for range that a user want to take panorama photos. Panorama images are available to scale and scroll.

Since Nokia Growth Partners invests in the company, and also Morpho is chosen with Nokia's developers program, Forum Nokia PRO Accelerator, it started to provide the application at Ovi Store. It plans to provide the application on iPhone or Android.

CNET 6/7/2010

Tonchi Dot launches Sekai Camera at US Android Market

Sekai Camera is AR service displaying Air Tag, text or images, on camera views of devices. The Android version does not have some features iPhone version has such as Sekai Life, social network function, and Air Tweet, showing Twitter's tweet, which will be added when to be launched in Japan.
The new feature for Android version includes Air Shot, which allows users to take screenshot of live view with Air Tags.

ITmedia 6/4/2010

Jun 4, 2010

Monster Lab and iAnywhere co-provide interactive resaturant search app for iPhone

Both companies jointly develops iPhone application framework enabling advanced search with natural conversation style, with which they provide a sample application, iCRUSE, interactive restaurant search application for iPhone based on the framework.

iCRUSE uses iAnywhere's text analyzing engine. Following the collaboration, both companies plan to provide enterprise mobile solution including the framework with business customers and system integrators.

Asahi.com 6/4/2010

Naked Technology provides Twitter client, Twittie, for Softbank devices

Twittie is to be downloaded at Softbank's website for free. The application is optimized for feature phones's key input. Also it allows to tweet with photos as easy as sending email with photos.

Twittie is developed using the company's original application development platform, Colors.

Asahi.com 6/4/2010

TouchShopping develops UI for e-commerce with touch panel devices

ToushShopping revealed that it is developing *TouchShopping UI*, user interface for e-commerce targeting for touch panel devices. Its shopping cart system, Fling to Cart, allows users to have a feeling to throw items to shopping cart.

The company expects the solution to be used for various needs such as digital signage, embedded in small sized touch devices, online shops and campaign.

VentureNow 6/3/2010

iDOC launches e-publishing service protected with DRM

iDOC starts to provide SaaS based e-publishing service for companies publishing periodicals. The service allows users to deliver periodical e-publication protected with DRM by uploading PDF files of newspapers or magazines and setting delivery date.

CNET 6/3/2010

[Asiajin]Four Companies Encourage Developers To Monetize Apps With New In-app Purchase Platform And Investments

Asiajin 6/3/2010
Tokyo-based real affiliate service provider Best Create[J], Japan’s largest telecom product distributor Hikari Tsushin, Cyber Agent Investment and SBI Investment[J] launched a new project called “Future of Apps[J]” last month, which is expected to collect new app ideas and will invest USD110,000 at the maximum in each of selected promising ones.

Jun 3, 2010

mixi Photo, unlimited storage of social photo service

mixi Photo allows users to communicate with friends by sharing photos with comment one by one.
Users can upload up to 2200 photos a month with unlimited storage. With mixi mobile, users can use almost the same features.

CNET 6/3/2010

Ubiquitous Entertainment releases Motion Ridr, video delivery solution for iPad and iPhone

Motion Ridr allows users to choose download or streaming and supports both paid and free distribution. Users can control period of distribution and develop original UI. In addition, it deploys functions of push notification, Twitter linkage, and advertisement delivery.

PRONEWS 6/2/2010

FreeBit to launch ServersMan HD, cloud storage for iPad

FreeBit announced that it adds ServersMan HD as a new lineup to its cloud storage service, ServersMan series for several platforms such as iPhone and Android.

SeversMan HD has document viewer and file management features as well as ServerMan series features utilizing IPv6 network. The company targets for business market.

Also it has photo flame feature which allows users to send files to iPad without any usage fee or contract through the Internet.

CNET 6/3 2010

Jun 2, 2010

For it begins Adoga, video ad service using affiliate network

For it, affiliate ASP service provider, launches Adoga using Brightcove as a video distribution system. Adoga allows advertisers to target a customer segment by For it's segmented affiliate network. It adopts HTML5 technology to deliver ads instead of Flash, which allows iPad and iPhone users to view video ads. The company also provides data such as how many seconds users view the ad or after how many seconds users click.

Asahi.com 6/2/2010

FreeBit and Chinese partner, BII, co-operating IPv6 solution, 6fei, passed evalutation test of China Telecom

FreeBit announced that its IPv6 solution, 6fei passed an evaluation test of China Telecom as a candidate technology for transforming communication network to IPv6.

Following the test result, the company starts to sell 6fei in China and Japan. BII will conduct trial test of 6fei on a network that China Telecom is running commercially.

CNET 6/2/2010

[DailyFinance]Why Japan's Masayoshi Son Is Winning Big in China

DailyFinance 6/1/2010
Masayoshi Son is a Japanese citizen of Korean descent, but he's making big bucks in China. That's particularly impressive given the historical animosity between Japan and China. The edge that Son, who controls Internet and telecommunications company Softbank, has is how he adapts to what I call the "entrepreneurial ecosystem" (EE) in China.

See full article from DailyFinance: http://srph.it/95fPcs

EVERRISE releases Android app, twireco, posting voice on a map

twireco allows users to post 30 seconds voice and 40 letters title on a map based on location information of GPS. In addition to voice post which anyone can replay, users can post voice which is only available to replay where the voice is recorded.

VentureNow 6/1/2010

Jun 1, 2010

JETMAN developes iPhone AR app, TV Scope

TV scope is an AR application allowing users to view Blu-ray&DVD through iPhone. The application is adopted with Blu-ray&DVD of Paranomal Activity to be released on June 2.

When users watch the Blu-ray&DVD through iPhone with the application on, they can experience fear of the movie.

The Second Times 6/1/2010

VSOL launches paid live streaming service, DLive

DLive uses Ustream paid service, WATERSHED and VSOL's operating contents download market, DL-MARKET. WATERSHED is paid service of Ustream for business customers.

The company expects the service to be used with seminar streaming and e-learning.

VentureNow 5/31 2010