Apr 27, 2012

Bitcellar, Buyer Of FxCamera, Raises 420M Yen From Jafco /Cnet Japan

Bitcelllar develops a storage service, Cellar, to store photos which is explosively increasing backed by smartphone penetration on cloud. The startup company announced acquisition of FxCamera, camera app for Android with over 15 million downloads worldwide on April 11th. ...

Cnet Japan 4/27/2012 [jp]

  • 420M yen is one of the largest deals recently for Internet startups. In addition, the company has not launched the storage service yet. This is very rare case for Japanese startup scene and it is expected that there will increase such type of deals.
  • http://thebitcellar.com/

Apr 24, 2012

Diamond Head Raises 200M Yen From Three VCs Aiming IPO In 2014 / Venture Now

Fashion EC support service provider, Diamond Head raised 200 million yen from Nissay Capital, Neostella Capital, and DIT Partners by allocation of new shares. ...

Diamond Heads was established in June, 2006. With strength in high-quality creative photography, it provides EC support service from EC system development, operation and management, to logistics, and to consulting. ...

Its target revenue this year is over 4 billion yen and the company targets IPO in 2014.

Venture Now 4/24/2012 [jp]


Social Recruiting, Wantedly Raises 30M Yen From Archetype And Others / TechCrunch Japan

Investors include angel investor, Shogo Kawada, who is a co-founder of DeNA and recently invests in many startups, Archetype, an incubator, and another individual investor. ...

Wantedly takes a form which encourages candidates to come by an office casually. According to the founder, since excellent people do not intend to change a job in many cases, recruiting pages of corporate web sites do not work well. Wantedly creates atmosphere different from usual recruiting pages, which enables to attract people who did not come to existing corporate recruiting pages. ...

TechCrunch Japan 4/24/2012 [jp]

  • Social recruiting is one of hot areas of social services recently. In the field, garbs recently fundraised 60 million yen from Nippon Venture Capital, while Social Recruiting raised seed money from Samurai Incubate in 2011.
  • http://wantedly.com/

Apr 23, 2012

NTT IP Invests In Alfredcore, SaaS/Cloud Service Provider / Cnet Japan

Alfredcore Raises 70 million yen through allocation of new shares to NTT Investment Partners.

Cnet Japan 4/20/2012 [jp]

  • A few weeks ago, the company announced fundraising of the same amount from D2 Communications. NTT Docomo group company. 

Apr 20, 2012

[Tech In Asia] Another Japanese Gaming Company Expands Abroad: Gumi Opens Korea Office

Earlier today we noted GREE’s investment in IUGO Mobile International, the latest step from the social gaming company in its expansion from Japan to overseas markets. Similarly Tokyo-based Gumi, a Japanese mobile game developer in which GREE owns a 20 percent stake, also has its eyes set on expansion, making its first move today. 
Gumi has announced the founding of Gumi Korea Inc, a fully owned subsidiary based in Seoul, dedicated to the development of mobile social games in South Korea and elsewhere. Gumi plans to move ‘aggressively’ into the global market, and Korea is apparently phase one of that plan. Gumi Korea will move forward with Gibon “Peter” Chang as its CEO. ...
Tech In Asia 4/20/2012 [en]

  • Gumi raised 2 billion yen in December, 2011 from several VCs and corporations, which is one of the largest finance of social game developer.
  • http://gu3.co.jp/

[Tech In Asia] GREE Looks North With Investment in Vancouver-Based IUGO Mobile Entertainment

Not long after investing in Tokyo-based game developers and HTML5 experts Wizcorp, Japanese social gaming company GREE (TYO:3632) has just announced a minority investment in Vancouver-based developer IUGO Mobile Entertainment. 
According to the announcement, the partnership will mean that the two companies will be working closely on game development, taking advantage of IUGO’s three proprietary technologies: IUGO Games Library, IRender 3D Engine, and IUGO Mesh Social Game Engine. ...
Tech in Asia 4/20/2012 [en]

Apr 17, 2012

Klab Acquires Pikkle To Accelerate Global Strategy / Reuters

Klab announced that it acquired Pikkle, social application provider to make it subsidiary. Pikkle can utilize know-how of social game operation of Klab, and Klab can acquire human resources of Pikkle.

Mr. David Collier, CEO of Pikkle, has experience in game industry in Japan, Europe, and US having deep knowledge of the applications. It is considered that Klab's global strategy will proceed largely through letting the well experienced person in foreign countries join.

Reuters 4/16/2012  [jp]

  • There have appeared a lot of social game developers on mobile game platforms, GREE and Mobage, in the few years, but it seems that times are dramatically changing to that several successful developers are getting bigger such as Klab, gumi, or Gloops competing with large corporations such as Konami or Square Enix. Also, even though Japanese market for social mobile game is still growing, more and more developers are looking to global market taking advantage of cash and human resources acquired through the huge success as well as the platform's global expansion strategy.
  • http://www.klab.jp/ 
  • http://www.pikkle.com/

Printing Service Portal, Raksul Raised 110M Yen / TechCrunch Japan

Raksul operates a portal site for printing service allowing users to compare price or to request for proposal. Printing looks humble business, but the market size is very huge. ...

The company announced that it raised 110 million yen. Nissay Capital invests 100 million yen and the rest is from an individual investor. ...

TechCrunch Japan 4/17/2012 [jp]

  • Nissay Capital is quite active for venture investment recently such as Synclogue, virtualization of Windows application, and Studio Ousia, browser plug-in for Android to add hyperlink automatically. 
  • Raksul was founded in 2009.
  • http://raksul.com/

Apr 13, 2012

IMJ Investment Partners Enters Into Capital and Business Alliance With One More / IMJ Press Release

IMJ and its subsidiary, IMJ Investment Partners accepts allocation of new shares of One More and agrees for partnership in crowd funding service.

The group will invest and support crowd funding business by partnering with One More which operates female-focused crowd funding service, GREEN GIRL, to support system development and customer acquisition.

IMJ press release 4/13/2012

  • Crowd funding services started to appear in 2011 such as READYFOR and CampFire in addition to GREEN GIRL. It seems that no services take overwhelming lead at this moment. As GREEN GIRL entered the competition bit later, it tries to differentiate itself by focusing on female users.
  • http://green-girl.jp/

Apr 12, 2012

[AsiaJin] FxCamera: Tokyo-Based Bitcellar Buys Popular Android Photo App

Tokyo-based photo storage service startup Bitcellar today announced it has acquired FxCamera, the biggest camera app on Android phones at the moment: according to the company, FxCamera currently boasts 15 million registered users around the world. Details of the deal weren’t disclosed. 
Morifumi Yamashita, who single-handedly developed the app, has joined Bitcellar’s board and plans to continue to work on FxCamera. In a “reverse Instagram distribution strategy”, FxCamera on iOS is apparently to follow soon.  ...

AsiaJin 4/11/2012  [en]

  • Bitcellar was founded in 2011 and its photo storage service has not yet launched. It is a very good deal for the pre-launched photo storage service to acquire 15 million users at once.
  • http://thebitcellar.com/

[Tech in Asia] Japan-based Food Photo App SnapDish to Cooperate with China’s Renren

While the biggest news by far in the photo-sharing world was undoubtedly Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, there’s a photo app here in Japan which is starting to take some impressive steps. We wrote about the food photo app SnapDish (www.snapdi.sh) last year, and today we heard some news from them. 
The company has just announced a partnership with Chinese social network Renren.com (NYSE:RENN), which will allow Chinese users to share food photos directly to Renren using the SnapDish iOS application. In addition, Renren will be promoting SnapDish to its users in its application section. ...
Tech In Asia 4/10/2012 [en]

  • Several large Internet companies such as DeNA, Gree, or Rakuten have entered into Chinese market partnering with local partners, however, it is not so often for startup like SnapDish succeeding to have partnership with such a big player in China. Some mobile photo sharing service from Japan such as DECOPIC and Snapeee are getting popular in Asian countries. SnapDish may follow or even overtake them taking advantage of the alliance. 
  • http://snapdi.sh/

Apr 10, 2012

GREE Partners With Wizcorp, HTML5 Game Engine Developer / japan.internet.com

GREE announced capital and business alliance with Wizcorp to enforce development for social game for smartphone, which is a key contents for its GREE Platform.

GREE accepts 145 of new shares of Wizcorp. ...

japan.internet.com 4/9/2012 [jp]

  • Native applications are still much more popular for smartphone games, but along with fragmentation of OS such as many versions of Android, penetration of Windows Phone, and tablet computers with various OS, HTML5 would potentially become more important for game developers than now in the future. So, the partnership seems reasonable for GREE.
  • http://www.wizcorp.jp/

garbs Raised 60M Yen From Nippon Venture Capital / garbs Press Release

garbs was established at January 12th, 2011 for providing social recruiting service. Its main service, Social Job Posting which allows organizations to post recruiting information on Facebook Page easily, has been adopted by over 1,750 pages in 19 countries.

In addition, from April 3rd, 2012, it started Forkwell, a social service supporting engineers to communicate and network each other. ...

garbs Press Release, 4/10/2012 [jp]

  • Forkwell allows engineers to tag their skills related to languages, tools, or related items to themselves and their friends or customers would evaluate the engineers by voting with +1 button.
  • http://forkwell.com/

Apr 5, 2012

[Tech in Asia] Tokopedia Receives Funding From Netprice

Last year, Tokopedia received investment from CyberAgent Ventures. And today, we just learned that it has received a new round of investment from Netprice.com, Ltd. Investment details are undisclosed. The investment will also see Teruhide Sato, president and group CEO of Netprice, joining Tokopedia as a board member. Sato has 15 years of experience in e-commerce and also has been angel investing through Open Network Lab. Prior to this round, investors who have backed Tokopedia are PT. Indonusa Dwitama, East Ventures, and CyberAgent Ventures. ...

Tech in Asia 4/4/2012 [en]

[Tech in Asia] Social Music Service Beatrobo Raises $600,000 in Funding

Social music site Beatrobo has received funding from three companies: CyberAgent Ventures, KLab Ventures, and Movida Japan. The total investment sum is $600,000. The website (beatrobo.com) is in English and aimed at a global audience, and hopefully these funds can help in its expansion efforts. 
Anyone can sign up to try out Beatrobo as long as you have a Facebook account. Once you’ve done that, you can add songs to your playlist, bringing in YouTube videos that can be played on the Beatrobo platform. You can comment on them, and if your friends are also on Beatrobo, you can share with them as well. The social aspect of the service is pretty interesting, using the cute robot avatars as vehicles for bringing songs to and from your friends. ...

Tech in Asia 4/5/2012 [en]

  • Beatrobo was launched at December 20, 2011 and achieved over 10,000 users registered. The company plans to distribute a gadget in which play list is installed and can be plugged to iPhone through earphone jack to exchange play list with friends.
  • https://www.beatrobo.com/

Talknote Fundrasies From CyberAgent Ventures / Cnet Japan

Talknote announced that it conducted allocation of new shares to CyberAgent Ventures. It does not disclose the amount, but it is considered to be around 25 million yen.

Talknote is a startup to provide social network service for office, Talknote. It has almost 1500 customers. KDDI is one of them using for trial with 500 users. ...

Cnet Japan 4/5/2012 [jp]

  • Talknote has provided the service for free since its launch in 2010. Along with the fundraising, it also announced to introduce premium plan which charges 525 yen for a user per month including enhanced management functions and support by email and telephone.
  • http://talknote.com

Apr 3, 2012

Synclogue Raised Capital From Two VCs / Venture Now

Synclogue announced an allocation of new shares to Nissay Capital and SMBC Venture Capital. The startup also revealed that it changed the company name from Joho Planet to Synclogue.

Along with the capital increase, Nissay Capital and SMBC Venture Capital bought all shares which existing share holders, Samurai Incubate I and ngi Venture Community Fund II, have owned. ...

The company was founded in September 2006 to run Gakunai.jp, user generated contents service for high school students. From 2011, it changed the business domain to Synchlogue, which enables virtualization and synclonization of Windows application. ...

Venture Now 4/3/2012 [jp]

  • It may be quite rare case that venture capitals bought shares from existing investors of venture capitals. It is expected that similar cases would increase this year because rapidly increased accelerators would start to look for exit.
  • http://www.synclogue.com/

D2C Invests 70M Yen In Alfredcore, Radiko Developer / Cnet Japan

D2 Communications announced that it invested in Alfredcore, which develops ALFCLOUD, cloud service and radiko.jp, a smartphone app.

It said that both will jointly develop new services such as social service by taking advantage of video streaming technology and engineering capability of Alfredcore. ...

Cnet Japan 4/2/2012

  • Alfredcore provides several cloud services based on streaming technology, such as multi-client streaming, e-learning, and video conference.   
  • radiko.jp is a simultaneous radio service established by most of Japanese radio stations and Dentsu.
  • D2C is active in venture investment recently such as investing in Ubiquitous Entertainment, mobile application and middleware, developer and Kauli, ad tech, in February.
  • http://alfredcore.com/