Mar 30, 2012

[Tech In Asia] DeNA Signs Deals with China’s Three Largest Carriers for Mobage

DeNA (TYO:2432) has been building a range of partnerships in China over the past few months in order to help expand its Mobage China social gaming platform. Today the company’s Chinese subsidiary is announcing perhaps its biggest partners to date, as it has signed deals with all three of China’s major mobile carriers, China Mobile (NYSE:CHL), China Unicom (NYSE:CHU), and China Telecom (NYSE:CHA). 
This means that Android users in China will be able to now find Mobage China games in each of the carrier’s official mobile app stores. This is especially important given that Google’s own app store, Google Play, is not supported in China presently. ...

Tech In Asia 3/28/2012 [en]

  • DeNA has been very active for global expansion in the last few years. In particular, China seems the most important country for the company, which announced partnerships with other local companies such as NetDragon, a game developer, and Baidu, a leading search provider so far this year. 

Mar 29, 2012

Social Commerce, Aratana, Raises 100M Yen From Jafco / Venture Now

Aratana announced it conducted allocation of new shares to Jafco of around 100 million yen.

Aratana was founded on May 1st, 2007 based in Miyazaki. Its current main product is Cagolab, EC-CUBE-based ASP service for online shop. In addition to Social Gateway which enables to build EC site on Facebook pages and SketchPage, a CMS of generating landing page for online shops, it will focus on social commerce domain which is expected to grow rapidly in the future. ...

Venture Now 3/29/2012 [jp]

  • Social commerce is becoming a popular word recently, but its effectiveness is still unclear. But Aratana does not only focus on e-commerce on Facebook, but also provides total solution for e-retailers, which may let the VC place high value to the potential of the company.

Mar 27, 2012

Social Fashion Site, iQON Surpasses 1M Monthly Users / Venture Now

VASILY revealed that its operating fashion site, iQON surpassed one million monthly active users. iQON was launched on April, 2010. It allows users to scrape images of fashion items sold on many EC sites like bookmarking to coordinate them and share with other users.

The service targets fashion-sensitive female of 20's and 30's. A number of fashion items is around 600,000. It released iPhone app in this February, which surpasses 10,000 coordinates posted within two weeks.

It had several hundreds of thousands unique visitors in January, which increased to over one million before the end of March. The smartphone app seems successful. ...

Venture Now 3/26/2012 [jp]

  • Along with penetration of smartphone, more and more users do not tend to use PC even at home. The trend seems especially prominent among target user segment of services like iQON.  
  • VASILY raised 140M yen in May, 2011 from Itochu Technology Ventures and GMO Venture Partners.

Mar 26, 2012

[Entertainment-kick Press Release] The administrator of “FindJPN”, “Entertainment-kick”, has financed 40 million yen from a Venture Capital, a business firm, and a private investor.

“Entertainment Kick” which runs “FindJPN”(, an activity booking website targeted at Travelers in Japan, has made a third-party allotment of shares of 40 million yen to a venture capital, a business firm, and a private investor. ...
Entertainment-kick Press Release 3/21/2012 [en]

  • Entertainment-kick is one of teams of the third batch of Open Network Lab.
  • Investors include DG Incubation (parent company of Open Network Lab), Concord Executive Group (staffing agency) and an individual investor.

Mar 22, 2012

[GREE Press Release] GREE Announces Global Alliance with Dentsu

GREE today announced an alliance with Dentsu, Inc. to assist with promoting GREE's global business and expansion. In addition to strategically elevating GREE's overall brand, Dentsu will be collaborating with GREE on a variety of different aspects of its business, including content acquisition and potential investments. 
Since the establishment of its first North American office in January 2011, GREE has had a heavy focus on widespread international expansion. To help achieve its goal of delivering a leading mobile social gaming ecosystem to users and developers worldwide, GREE acquired OpenFeint based in the San Francisco Bay area, has opened nine offices around the world, and announced partnerships with key industry players. Dentsu, with a network of 167 offices in 28 countries and over 20,000 employees worldwide (as of the end of December), will use its global reach and expertise to promote the GREE brand internationally. ...

GREE Press Release 3/22/2012 [en]

  • Just a week before the announcement, GREE released Zombie Jombie, its first game from the North American Studio targeting for global market. The game for iOS is a card-based social game, which is the most popular category in Japan recently. 2012 will be the turning point for the mobile social game platform provider for global expansion.

Mar 16, 2012

Frekul Raises Seed Money Aiming To Become Platform For Artists Around The World / Venture Now

Frekul operator, Worldscape raises 4.5 million yen of seed money from Samurai Incubate.

Worldscape was founded on February 3rd, 2011 by three members of Meridianrogue, a music band to set a goal of figuring out how to make artists survive. Frekul aims to outgrow a traditional way of making revenue by selling music source. By distributing free music source to make viral appeal, the service allows artists to make profit with sales of live tickets and related goods. ...

Venture Now 3/15/2012 [jp]

  • Members who register to a artist get free music of the artist by email regularly. The artist can not only send music files, but also operate fan club system with the platform to sell tickets of lives or goods to members. Frekul gets commission from artists for billing, member management, and posting of tickets or goods.
  • It looks not easy to make big money at once with the platform, but for the long term, the system would be one of few monetization models for artists in the situation as music sales including CD and online has been decreasing. Using email, a quite matured technology, is also interesting point of the service. 

Mar 14, 2012

Mobile Contents Provider, M-up Goes IPO / Venture Now

M-up goes public on Mothers market on 14th. The first traded price was 1,987 yen, which is 1.8 times as open price of 1,130 yen.

Paid mobile contents providing service shares about 60% of revenue, and in addition, it operates e-commerce business selling goods and CDs of artists which links with their fan club sites. ...

Venture Now 3/14/2012 [jp]

  • Some contents providers which had provided contents to feature phones have hard time to adjust to Smartphone business. Different from those companies, M-up seems to get better evaluation due to tie-up with fan clubs of artists, which is more universal contents than feature phone-specialized one.

Mar 6, 2012

Mintesu Operator, SHIFT Raises 472M Yen From Mitsui & Co. And Others / Social Game Info

Software test solution provider, SHIFT announced that it raises 472 million yen by allocation of new shares to Mitsui & Co., NTT Investment Partners, and DFJ JAIC.

In addition to software test solution, SHIFT operates Mintesu, a test marketing site for social games based on its original method acquired through consulting service. ...

Social Game Info 3/6/2012 [jp]

  • Mintesu allows users to play games for PC or mobile and lets them write comments such as bug report or ideas to improve. Users can get virtual items for the games by sending comments. It is very good and unique idea to provide value for both developers and users.

Mar 2, 2012

CyberAgent Ventures Invests In Online Book Store In Vietnam / Cnet Japan

CyberAgent Ventures announced that it invested in Tiki Corporation, a startup in Vietnam. Tiki operates online book store for users in Vietnam. Since its launch at March 2010, the business has been growing.  CA Ventures explains that the startup has potential to become a leading online shopping service in Vietnam. ...

Cnet Japan 3/2/2012 [jp]

  • Following two investments in February, CyberAgent Ventures continues investing actively in Vietnamese startups.