Jul 30, 2013

Klab Ventures Invests In Realglove, PaaS Technology Startup / SankeiBiz

With the capital, Realglobe develops CDaaS (Continuour Dedlivery as a Service) aiming to launch within this year.

CDaaS is a development platform to add functions to automate various tasks such as building source, system test, backup, and delivery on top of PaaS which automates sever settings and building execution environment. ...

SankeiBiz 7/29/2013 [jp]

  • Klab is recently famous as a mobile social game developer, but was originally a very technology oriented company providing security solutions or load distribution systems. It could utilize its knowledge and skills to enhance the platform service of Realglobe.
  • http://www.realglobe.jp/

Viewable Time-based Advertising Platform, Dennoo Raises $1.1M From Nissay Capital / TechCrunch Japan

Dennoo sells advertising based on time that users actually view rather than just displayed on a browser. The company announced fundraising of $1.1 million from Nissay Capital. The total amount raised so far is $3.1 million. ...

continue reading in Japanese ...
TechCrunch Japan 7/26/2013 [jp]

  • Dennoo's cost per view model is best suited for video ads, which is finally becoming popular in Japan recently. It would be the best timing for the company to accelerate its sales and marketing activity with the capital.
  • http://www.dennoo.com/

Jul 29, 2013

ignote Raises Fund From Samurai Incubate / Dream News

ignote provides melocy enabling to share musical performance overdubbed with smartphones. With just a smartphone device, users can record, upload and share music, which makes easier for anyone to publish music sessions. ...

continue reading in Japanese ...
Dream News 7/25/2013 [jp]

  • melocy targets amateur bands to allow them to have a music session on different place and time. There is a similar service, nana, which focuses on sharing singing. 
  • http://melocy.com/

Mobile App Eyeland Operator, Oceans Announced Partnership With Adways In O2O And Fundraising From Mitsubishi UFJ Capital / Yomiuri Online

Oceans started collaboration with Adways in O2O. As the first effort, Oceans' location-based communication service, Eyeland places coupons of Asuiku, a last minute discount coupon service by Samurai Adways, Adways' subsidiary to send customers from the application.

Oceans also fundraised from Adways and Mitsubishi UFJ Capital. ...

Yomiuri Online 7/25/2013 [jp]

  • Eyeland allows users to share posts with their location as well as chat with other users around. It has been a few years since location-based apps appeared, but it seems they are still struggling to monetize from the services. It is expected that Eyeland can build up its business model with the partnership.
  • http://eyeland.in/en/

Jul 25, 2013

[Sd] Japanese accounting startup Freee raises $2.7 million from Infinity Venture Partners and DCM

Tokyo-based cloud startup Freee announced today that it has raised 270 million yen (approximately $2.7 million) in a series A funding from Infinity Venture Partners and DCM. This follows the previous seed round where the company secured seed funding of 50 million yen (about $523,000) from DCM back in December. Coinciding with this new funding, the startup rebranded its company name to Freee from CFO K.K., coinciding with the name of its accounting service. ...
continue reading ...
Sd 7/24/2013 [en]

  • Freee is a cloud-based accounting service for SMB. It allows to keep accounts automatically by registering bank or credit card account. Accounting solutions are getting crowded by startups recently such as MoneyForward and MoneyTree for consumers, and A-SaaS for accounting firms. 
  • http://www.freee.co.jp/

Treasure Data Fundraises $5M From Sierra Ventures / ITpro

US-based Treasure Data providing cloud service for Data Ware House announced to raise 5 million dollars from US's VC, Sierra Ventures. Treasure Data was founded by Japanese engineers in 2011 at Mountain View.

Treasure Data's DWH service is based on Hadoop, open source software enabling distributed batch process. In addition to the DWH service, it provides td-agent, data collecting tool which allows to gather, store, and analyze data. td-agent is based on OSS log collecting tool, Fluentd which is developed by Sadayuki Furuhashi, one of founders of the company. ...

continue reading in Japanese ...
ITpro 7/24/2013 [jp]

  • Treasure Data had a previous financing of $1.5 million in September 2012 from several angel investors including Matz Matsumoto, Ruby developer.
  • http://www.treasure-data.com/

Jul 24, 2013

[Sd] Japanese flea market app Mercari raises $500,000 from East Ventures

Mercari, a flea market app launched by Japanese serial entrepreneur Shintaro Yamada, has been showing good numbers of late. Since the release of its Android app back on July 2nd, more than 50,000 users have put over 10,000 items up for sale using the marketplace. 
Kouzoh, the startup behind the app, introduced the iOS version of its app today, and also announced that it has fundraised 50 million yen (approximately $500,000) from East Ventures. ...
continue reading ...
Sd 7/24/2013 [en]

  • Yamada is famous for selling his previous startup, Unoh to Zynga two years ago. Yahoo Auction has been almost dominant for many years in Japan in C2C marketplace. But along with a penetration of smartphone and tablet, new entrants including startups are appearing recently such as Fril and CyberAgent's Pashaoku. All of them including Mercari claim its easiness to use for non-teckey people. It is interesting to see who will win the race.
  • http://mercari.jp/

Jul 20, 2013

Opt Enters Venture Capital Business Focusing On Ad Tech And E-Commerce / MarkeZine

Opt established a dedicated division to accelerate growth of Internet related startups. In this year, the company plans to invest around 1 billion yen in startups located in Japan and APAC focusing on E-commerce, Crowd sourcing, Edu x Tech, and Advertising Technology.

In addition, Opt invests in Sozo Ventures- True Bridge Fund I, US-based venture capital fund through its US subsidiary. It partners with e-marketing companies centered around big data and O2O which has a potential to get into Japan market aiming to create new business in Japan. Opt has already partnered in capital and business with Retailgence, US-based O2O service provider to support its Japan entry.

MarkeZine 7/19/2013 [jp]

  • Opt is one of the largest Internet marketing agencies in Japan. It announced an acquisition of Singapore-based ad network, CDA, in March. Other ad agencies such as CyberAgent and Septeni are also active in going global. Advertising business has been relatively domestic except search ads by Google. But it seems these major players believe it will be much more borderless in the near future.
  • http://www.opt.ne.jp/

[Sd] Japanese lifehack sharing site Nanapi raises $2.7 million

Nanapi is a popular Japanese site where users can share their favorite lifehacks. The company announced today it has raised 270 million yen (approximately $2.7 million) from KDDI’s Open Innovation Fund. and Globis Capital Partners. This follows a previous round of funding worth 330 million yen from Globis Capital Partners. 
The startup was founded back in 2007 by former Recruit staffer Kensuke Furukawa and former Rakuten engineer Shuichi Wada. The pair and their colleagues launched the lifehack sharing site back in 2009, and have acquired more than 12 million users to date. Users exchange practical how-tos and daily tips, such as how to better cut vegetables, how to better clean up toilets, or how to wash your neckties in the washing machine. ...
continue reading ...
Sd 7/19/2013 [en]

  • The previous round was on November, 2010. Nanapi has not yet have a native app for a smartphone, so the company would develop it with the capital to increase users and page views.
  • http://nanapi.jp/ 

[Sd] Japanese e-commerce startup Monoco raises funds from KDDI and Global Brain

Tokyo-based startup Monoco announced today it has raised funds from Japan’s second largest telco KDDI and Japanese VC firm Global Brain. The specific amount was not disclosed but it’s thought to be several million US dollars. 
Monoco is a flash sales e-commerce site focused on selling fashion items of a limited quantity selected by curators and buyers worldwide. Since the company’s launch back in April of 2012, it has acquired more than 80,000 users, partnering with more than 900 fashion designers worldwide. ...
continue reading ...
Sd 7/18/2013 [en]

  • Fashion commerce is becoming one of the most crowded area for startups recently. KDDI actually invested in another fashion commerce service, Origami back in April. 
  • http://monoco.jp/sale

Jul 17, 2013

[Sd] Next-gen Japanese wheelchair startup raises $1M from 500 Startups and other investors

Whill is a Japanese startup that is developing ‘Personal Mobility’, a next-generation wheelchair. The startup announced today it has raised $1 million from Itochu Technology Ventures (ITV), 500 Startups, Sunbridge Global Ventures, Wingle, and individual angel investors. The individual investors include 500 Startups’ Dave McClure and Facebook engineer Eric Kwan. 
With these funds, the startup plans to start mass-production of its first model and start marketing it as well. The first lot of 50 machines will be exported to the US market using a direct sales channel, with shipping scheduled to start in early 2014. ...
continue reading ...
Sd 7/16/2013 [en]

  • Whill participated in Open Network Lab, a Japanese seed accelerator last year, and is now in 500 Startups' accelerator program. The company has attracted much attention from seed investors in Japan and US.
  • http://whill.jp/

[Sd] Japanese fashion commerce giant Zozotown acquires DIY shop startup Stores.jp

Today Bracket, the company behind Stores.jp, announced that it has been acquired by Start Today. Start Today is, of course, the operator of Japanese fashion commerce giant Zozotown. Since news of the acquisition was released a few hours ago, it has dominated social feeds here in Japan. 
Bracket was founded back in October of 2008, and the company operates several online services including a C2C car sharing site Cafore and custom made ladies shoes service, Shoes of Prey. 
Stores.jp lets users to make their own online shop in matter of minutes for a monthly fee of 980 yen (about $10). Since it launched back in September of 2012, it has been used to create more than 40,000 online stores to date, and that is projected to surpass 100,000 by the end of this year. Considering that 70% of stores on Stores.jp are fashion related, it makes sense for the company to choose Start Today as a partner. ...
continue reading ...
Sd 7/16/2013 [en]

  • The valuation for the acquisition is around $6.5 million. Considering the number of stores on Store.jp and other services which could also add value to Zozotown, it may be a good deal for both of companies, particularly for Zozotown.  
  • http://bracket.co.jp/

Jul 11, 2013

[Sd] Downloaded by half of Japan’s iPhone girls, Papelook attracts more investment

Two Japanese mobile trends that we have been following closely over the past few months are high-quality Japanese photo apps, and the evolution of cute culture into an exportable mobile commodity. Popular made-in-Japan collage app Papelook lies at the intersection of these two trends, and that means it has lots of potential to grow, even beyond Japan’s borders. 
Today Digital Garage announced that it would be investing in Papelook, though the exact sum was not disclosed, the company will take 5% of the startup’s outstanding shares. ...
continue reading...
Sd 7/10/2013 [en]


  • Papelook is one of teams from the last batch of Open Network Lab, a seed accelerator program. Digital Garage is one of the major shareholders of Open Network Labo. The other major shareholder is Netprice.com.
  • http://www.papelook.co.jp/

[TechCrunch] Japanese Ticketing Startup Peatix Raises $3M Series A To Fund Expansion To U.S., Singapore

Japanese e-ticketing startup Peatix just closed a Series A round of $3 million, led by Fidelity Japan. The company is seeking to be the Eventbrite of Asia, and provides a platform for event organizers to manage ticket sales. It says it’s already had 10,000 events listed on its platform since it launched in May 2011. ... 
500 Startups and Itochu also participated in the Series A round, which will see Fidelity Japan’s David Milstein joining Peatix’s board of directors. ...

continue reading ...
TechCrunch 7/10/2013 [en]

  • There appeared many ticket sales platform startups in Japan. The competition among them seems to get fierce recently in Japan. It is interesting to see if PeaTix can get a big lead with the fundraising with others.
  • http://www.peatix.com/

Jul 4, 2013

[Sd] 3 Japanese VCs team up to establish new mobile gaming studio

Fuji Startup Ventures, Gumi Ventures, and B Dash Ventures have jointly announced that they have teamed up to establish a new mobile gaming studio called A-lim. It has not been disclosed how much stake each party will hold in the company. 
This newly formed company also released its first mobile iOS game today, titled Brave Frontier. It’s available for free over on the App Store if you’d like to try it out.  ...
continue reading ...
Sd 7/3/2013 [en]

  • Fuji Startup Ventures is a VC arm of media company, Fuji TV, and Gumi Ventures is also a VC subsidiary of Gumi, a mobile game publisher. So, it is a kind of a joint venture between a TV station and a game publisher in which pure VC, B Dash invests. 
  • http://www.a-lim.co.jp/

Jul 3, 2013

fluxflex Officially Launches WebPay, Credit Card Payment API / Cnet Japan

Along with the announcement of the official launch, fluxflex announced fundraising by convertible notes from CyberAgent Ventures, Archetype, and GMO Payment Gateway.

WebPay has high compatibility with Stripe's API which is widely used in the US and allows to develop a payment system within a few hours using abundant library and samples. Not only simple payment, but various ways of payment such as periodic payment, pay-as-you-go payment, discount with coupons, and one-click payment are easily deployed with the API. ...

continue reading in Japanese...
Cnet Japan 7/2/2013 [jp]

  • WebPay charges 3.4% plus 30 yen for each transaction. Mobile reward ads provider, Metaps recently launched a beta version of Spike, a totally free payment service. Payment is a huge market and expected to become even bigger, but it will become very tough competition for any companies if these free services appear. Anyway, it is interesting to see how the competition in the payment solutions will be like. 
  • http://www.fluxflex.com/

[Sd] Book discovery service raises $200,000 from Japanese investors

Booklap is a handy service that helps you find good books. It was created by Tokyo-based startup Prosbee, which announced today that it has raised 20 million yen ($200,000) from Incubate Fund, Voyage Ventures, and Genuine Startups. This follows the previous funding of 3 million yen (about $32,000) from Incubate Fund last July. 
The service has two ways to help you discover new books: The first method is based on your interests, pulled from ‘social graphs’ like your Facebook profile. The other way is by presenting quotes from books that impressed other users. Since its beta launch back in June of 2012, they have built up a decent userbase, with recent changes to their interface, adding features intended to boost growth. ...
continue reading...
Sd 7/3/2013 [en]

  • There are some books related service utilizing social functions such as Booklog, review sharing, and Bukupe, summary sharing. Booklap is unique in a way to share quotes from books, which is easier than others. The way of monetization is basically based on advertising like display ads or affiliate for any such services, so the scale of users and contents is the key factor. The easiness to share quotes may become a big advantage for Booklap to increase contents.    
  • http://booklap.com/

[Sd] Japanese MOOC startup raises $1.5 million from investors

Schoo is a Tokyo-based MOOC (massive open online course) startup providing livestreamed lectures on the internet. The startup announced today that it has raised 152 million yen (approximately $1.52 million) from Itochu Technology Ventures, Incubate Fund, and Anri. This follows its previous funding from Incubate Fund and Anri back in October of 2012. 
Schoo was launched back in January 2012 under the mission of “ridding the world of graduations”. It provides more than 130 different online courses, and to date it has more than 40,000 users, mostly office workers in their late 20s and early 30s. ...
continue reading ...
Sd 7/2/2013 [en]

  • Schoo adopts a freemium model. It is free to watch any number of streaming lectures and to communicate with other students, but free users can view only one recorded lecture a month. Paid users who pay 525 yen per month can view an unlimited number of recorded lectures. Retaining paid users would be a challenge for the service because it seems not easy to keep them learning something continuously.
  • http://schoo.jp/

Mutations Studio Fundraises 230M Yen From CyberAgent Ventures, FuRyu, And KDDI Open Innovation Fund / MSN Sankei

Mutations Studio was founded in August 2012 by a game producer, Mr. Kuwata who produced several popular mobile games and his team. CyberAgent Ventures invested in September, 2012, FuRyu did in February, 2013, and KDDI Open Innovation Fund in March, 2013.

Within this year, the startup plans to launch several game titles with its own brand as well as joint titles with other developers.

MSN Sankei News 7/2/2013 [jp]

  • More and more large publishers dominate the market in smartphone games recently such as Puzzle & Dragons' GungHo and LINE. But it is also very rapidly changing and still growing market, so there may be chances for startups, particularly teams with successful track record like Mutations Studio.
  • http://www.mutationsltd.com/

Jul 1, 2013

Venture Republic Invests In Indonesian Price Comparison Site / Venture Now

Venture Republic invested in PT Telunjuk Komputasi Indonesia, which runs price comparison site, Telunjuk.com in Indonesia through its subsidiary, Venture Republic Global.

Taking advantage of knowledge acquired by operating several price comparison sites in Japan, such as coneco.net or Travel.jp, Venture Republic aims to accelerate an expansion into South East Asia such as Indonesia where a rapid growth is expected.

Telunjuk.com covers a wide range of products including PC, mobile phones, and air tickets for a product search and price comparison. The site was launched back in 2011 and has 500,000 products and 500,000 monthly active users now.

Venture Now 6/27/2013 [jp]

  • Investing in South East Asia from Japanese Internet companies are increasing in the last few years. CyberAgent is one of the earliest company among them. Others who set up a venture fund for the region include Gree, Rakuten, GMO, and IMJ. The move seems getting more accelerated recently.
  • http://www.vrg.jp/
  • http://www.telunjuk.com/

Adinnovation Raises 160M Yen From DBJ Capital And Others / Cnet Japan

Adinnovation revealed a fundrasing from DBJ Capital, SMBC Venture Capital, and Mitsubishi UFJ Capital. The amount raised is 160 million yen.

Adinnovation was founded in 2010 to provide consulting services for advertising focused on smartphone apps. With the capital, the startup plans to expand ADSTORE TRACKING, a performance monitoring service for smartphone ads, to global market.

Cnet Japan 7/1/2013 [jp]

  • ADSTORE TRACKING allows users to manage various marketing solutions such as ad networks, affiliate ads, and search ads on a screen from placing ads to analyzing ROI. Since ads for smartphone is still in an early stage compared to desktop PC, needs for the solution will continue growing.
  • http://adinnovation.co.jp/