Dec 19, 2012

Accounting Application, CFO Raises 50M Yen From DCM / TechCrunch Japan

CFO, which pitched freee, accounting application for small businesses, at Startup Battle of TechCrunch Tokyo in this November raises 50 million yen from Silicon Valley based venture capital, DCM. It is the first fundraising from an external investor for CFO.

freee is still beta version open to only some users, but the company is developing it aiming to officially launch early next year. With the fundraising, it intends to speed up the development by hiring.

The cloud application has advantage in importing data in bank and credit card accounts to automatically journal them. ...

TechCrunch Japan 12/19/2012 [jp]

  • CFO was founded in July 2012. It is not so usual that an enterprise application startup succeeds to raise fund of 50 million yen before officially launching products. DCM may highly evaluate the beta product as well as the founder team.

Dec 18, 2012

[Tech In Asia] Japanese Animation Studio Has Global Potential, Receives Silicon Valley Investment

Recently Silicon Valley-based Fenox Venture Capital announced its investment in Japan’s Dream Link Entertainment Inc., which it notes is the largest Flash animation company in that country. 
I was initially a little curious as to why Fenox would be interested in investing in a Flash animation company, given the current trajectory of Flash as a technology. I’m told that the draw of DLE as a company is in the popular characters it has created, and in its style of animation and storytelling – which the firm believes has huge potential in the global market. DLE animations have previously won ‘Best Animation’ and ‘Best Director’ at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival. ...
Tech In Asia 12/13/2012 [en]

  • DLE defines its concept as Fast Animation which provides short, low cost, and frequently updated new content to users' preferred devices whenever they want. Along with penetration of smartphone, tablet, and Internet enabled any devices including TV, the combination of technology and animation which DLE provides would create larger businesses in the future.

[The Next Web] Japanese phone optimization startup Fuller grabs $1.2m from m8 Capital and ASAHI Net

Fuller, the mobile optimization startup based in Japan has nailed down 100 million Yen ($1.2m) in a seed funding. The round was led by the UK’s m8 Capital and ASAHI Net, the Japanese Internet and cloud service provider. 
Fuller, describes itself as ‘a next-generation mobile software development company and was established in November 2011. The company’s founders met at the University of Tsukuba, and the firm now boasts an all-star team of Japan’s leading young developers. 
Using the cash injection, Fuller will continue to work on rethinking ways to deal with mobile utilities. In other words, the firm finds ways to make phones faster, smarter and easier to use. At the moment, the company is working on optimization technology which will be launched as an Android app outside of Japan in early 2013. 
The app is already in use in Japan and it helps users to monitor and improve the ‘health’ of their phone (battery life etc) using an avatar-based UI.
The Next Web 12/17/2012 [en]

  • It is very rare that a Japanese startup raises capital from UK's venture capital. Its app to be launched soon, AppQuarium allows users to kill unused tasks and to uninstall unused apps using gamification feature, raising fish.

Dec 17, 2012

[Tech In Asia] Japan’s DeNA and Korea’s KT Corporation Partner for Mobile Games Exchange

Japan’s DeNA (TYO:2432) announced today that it will be teaming up with KT Corporation (NYSE:KT) in Korea to ‘mutually exchange mobile social games’ between the companies’ respective networks. 
This means that KT will offer selected games from Daum Mobage, which is DeNA’s platform in Korea which it operates with the popular Daum web portal. It will also help out with billing integration for in-game purchases of Daum Mobage virtual currency through its Olleh Market. 
Likewise, DeNA will offer selected KT titles on its Mobage platform in Japan, lending marketing and consultation support as well. The cross border partnership will likely serve both companies well. ...
Tech In Asia  12/14/2012 [en]

  • The rival of DeNA, GREE announced a partnership with SingTel last month. Both mobile gaming companies are getting successful in foreign market this year. In US or Europe, they are more focusing on acquisition or partnership with game studios, however, in Asia, it looks that they consider telcos are also important players to tie up with.

Crowdworks And Axelbeat Form A Partnership For Crowd-sourcing Overseas / Cnet Japan

Crowdworks and Axelbeat cooperate to get into crowd-sourcing market in foreign countries. Axelbeat is a subsidiary of Axelmark.

With the alliance, both launch offshore crowd sourcing to outsource jobs on Crowdworks to developers in Vietnam and Philippines utilizing a network of Axelbeat, which runs advertising services for foreign market.

They plan to expand the service in other South East Asian countries including Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia as well as launch English site of Crowdworks allowing foreign companies and freelancers to place and accept orders.

Crowdworks is a crowd-sourcing service focusing on engineers and designers which was launched on this March as closed beta. A total amount of jobs placed surpasses 770 million yen and it is used by more than 2,700 companies.

Cnet Japan 12/14/2012 [jp]

  • Crowd sourcing service is one of the hottest areas in Internet services this year. It is reasonable for these services to take advantage of wage gap to enable offshore development. There will be more crowd-sourcing services going global, especially in Asia from Japan next year.

Yahoo Japan Acquires CyberAgent FX To Enter Into Financial Business / Internet Watch

Yahoo Japan announced on December 12th that it acquires CyberAgent FX. It it the first entry for Yahoo into financial business. The amount is 21 billion yen. Yahoo acquires all shares from CyberAgent to make the company 100% subsidiary. ...

Internet Watch 12/12/2012 [jp]

  • Both Yahoo Japan and CyberAgent are deeply committed to smartphone recently. Yahoo has acquired, invested, and partnered with many startups and large corporations. While, CyberAgent spends 3 billion yen for advertising of smartphone apps in just one month to acquire the market share. But, the strategy look quite different from each other. CyberAgent focuses more on media and advertising domain by selling the FX service. Yahoo seems expanding the coverage of Internet and mobile related services.

Dec 10, 2012

Note Sharing Service, U-NOTE Raises From Three VCs / Cnet Japan

U-NOTE announced fundraising of 11 million yen from partyfactory, VOYAGE VENTURES, and MOVIDA JAPAN.

U-NOTE operates U-NOTE allowing users to share notes of lectures or classes created by collaboration in real-time. It has had over 15,000 notes created including summary of various events.

U-NOTE was launched in June 2012. ... The founder attended internship of VOYAGE GROUP, IncubateCamp, an incubation program by IncubateFund, and was selected for the second batch of KDDI mugen Labo. ...

It plans to provide paid functions for event organizers from gathering information prior the event, archiving the contents, to feedback for the event.

Cnet Japan 12/10/2012 [jp]

  • It does not seem so easy to monetize with the service, however, it is an interesting project to create contents which are currently not shared as knowledge in text format. It may have great potential.

Social Lunch Is Acquired After A Year and 4 Months Since Launch By Social Game Provider, Donuts / TechCrunch Japan

Social Lunch is a matching service to allow users to have lunch with someone they do not know to extend their network of business or hobby. The operator of the service, SyncLunch announced acquisition by Donuts, a social game developer. SyncLunch was founded in August last year, so it took only a year and four months.

Social Lunch launched in October last year selected as one of teams of the first batch for KDDI mugen Labo, KDDI's incubation program. Currently it has 60 thousands users. ...

Donuts not only provides mobile games such as Boso Retsuden Tansha no Tora, but also operates portal site targeting women called Haukore. ...

TechCrunch Japan 12/10/2012


Dec 3, 2012

Road+ Operator, DIMERS Lab Raises 28M Yen Entering Into O2O Market / Cnet Japan

DIMERS Lab announced fundraising by allocation of new shares to SMBC Venture Capital and several angel investors.

DIMERS Lab runs iPhone app, Road+ which gives coupons or mileage points from sponsors by walking a certain distance. With the capital, it plans to hire engineers and to develop new features.

The company aims to add social gift features allowing users to exchange the points with a gift to send friends on Facebook and O2O services collaborating with retailers and drink and food makers.

Cnet Japan11/30/2012 [jp]

  • Walking has a good image for health and environment. Also, it is related to location information and easy to integrate gamification aspects like walking race. Considering these factors, it is very suited for campaign of brands.