Jul 30, 2010

Atedesign launches location-aware game allowing to communicate with virtual pet

Atedesign released Delepus, a location aware game for mobile. Delepus allows users to chat with and breed three-ear rabbit, Delepus, and to register location information to get point.

The game adopts Jackalope Engine for its natural language processing, which analyzes characteristics from conversations with the user, and Delepus is to grow with characteristics similar to the user.With points that is given based on check-in, users can buy avatar items such as a room, cloths, and small items for Delepus.

The company plans to provide smartphone version as well as English service.

CNET 7/30/2010

Aratana allocates new shares to Challenge Kyushu Fund

Aratana raised 31.5 million yen from Challenge Kyushu Fund which aims to support small and medium corporations around Kyushu area operated by DOGAN Investments.

Aratana develops and sells EC-CUBE based online shopping service, Cagolab provided as an ASP.

Venture Now 7/29/2010

ACCESS joins in OHA and releases Graffiti, free app for Android

ACCESS becomes a member of Open Handset Alliance, a consortium promoting Android OS, and released Graffiti for Android, a handwritten character recognition application for free.

Graffiti allows users to input characters by writing traversable symbol like simplified alphabets. It was developed as a input method for Palm OS. At the moment it is only available for English and planned to release a version for Japanese in the near future.

Keitai Watch 7/29/2010

Jul 29, 2010

[TechCrunch] Zynga Confirms Softbank Investment. They’ll Confirm Google Investment Later

TechCrunch 7/28/2010
Zynga issued a press release tonight confirming the more than month-old news of an investment by Softbank – $150 million – and are announcing a joint venture to “develop and distribute social games across Japan.”
Based in Tokyo, Zynga Japan will tap into Japan’s rich history of gaming and leverage Softbank’s cutting edge mobile and Web technology to produce the best social games in the market.

Jul 28, 2010

Logosware released a new version of FLIPPER3, ebook creating tool, supporting iPhone/iPad with Twitter linkage feature

FLIPPER3 Maker has been adopted by over 800 of companies and Universities for making ebook of catalogs, brochures, and manuals. The earlier version of the software supports Windows and Mac, but the new version allows to view with browser of iPhone and iPad.

CNET 7/28/2010

[Asiajin] NHN Japan Shakes Hands With 70 Game Developers To Enter The Social Game App Business

Asiajin 7/27/2010
The Japanese subsidiary of a Korean online game service operator, NHN Japan announced at the briefing event held on Monday that they would enter the arena of social game business. ...
NHN has been presenting only the games they have developed, but from now on they invite 70 game developers such as Square Enix to the platform in order to gain the variety of game apps to be presented.  The platform is intended to distribute games to PC, cellphone and Android handset users.

[Asiajin] It’s Official Now. Google Announces Their Search Platform Provided To Yahoo! Japan

Asiajin 7/27/2010
Google Asia Pacific and Japan vice president Daniel Alegre announced on official Google Japan blog that Google’s search technology is again provided to Yahoo! Japan.
According to the article, Yahoo! Japan uses Google’s search engine as a backend, is able to customize frontend in any way. Google emphasizes that Yahoo! Japan has freehand on how to display search results, what original experiences to offer.
Google also provides search advertising platform to Yahoo! Japan. It is said that the data of advertisers and ads are not shared between Google and Yahoo! Japan. ...

Steradian starts to sell cloud-model Web3D System

The Web3D system allows to view and operate high quality of 3DCG in real-time from Web browser of PC, iPhone and others. In this system, GPU servers in charge of rendering 3DCG is connected with Web server. Since a complex computing process is done in cloud, a client only get image (30 per second) in real-time, which allows to view and operate high quality 3D from usual browsers.

Steradian develops and provides CG rendering engine such as physical simulator for manufacturers, especially focusing on lighting simulations.

Venture Now 7/27/2010

Jul 27, 2010

7 teams are selected for incubation program, Seed Accelerator

Digital Garage, Netprice.com, and Kakaku.com selected 7 teams for Seed Accelerator which aims to cultivate engineers pursuing startup.

The program provides servers and office spaces as well as fund and advices from mentors. There are 41 entries from which participating teams are chosen from a point of view of technology, team work, and uniqueness of idea.

Selected teams
 Web service which allows users to send gift coupon friends via Twitter or Facebook account.

 Recruiting matching service with video chat

 Ebook reader for iPad for social reading

Individual Company
 Business platform for individual workers

Energy Literacy Platform
 Electric power consumption management tool for home

 Micro-blog system for enterprise

 Ebook publishing platform

Kakaku.com 6/30/2010

USEN breaks into coupon group buying service by launching Pita Ticket in August

USEN jointly with Forefront Systems launches group buying site, Pita Ticket on August 9. Pita Ticket allows buyers to get discount coupons or coupons for limited merchandises if a number of buyers surpasses a certain number.

USEN starts the service at Tokyo and Osaka and expands areas using 650 thousands of business customers of its cable broadcasting service and sales offices throughout the country.

CNET 7/26/2010

Wagoon launches Toku Pin!, group buying site of daily coupon of goods

Toku Pin! is a sister site of Toku Ten, Wagoon's operating Groupon-model site launched on July 9. While Toku Ten deals discount coupon from restaurants, Toku Pin! sells goods instead. There are no area designation, but the basic system is the same as other Groupon-model services such as selling one good a day and a deal is done only when buyers surpasses minimum number of sales.

Wagoon is also preparing to provide its Toku Pin! system as ASP for online shopping sites or goods makers.

Venture Now 7/26/2010

[Asiajin] DeNA (Mobage-town) Shuts Down Social Game “Bandit Nation” On Facebook

Asiajin 7/26/2010
Back in May, Japan’s mobile gaming juggernaut DeNA ($3.8 billion market cap at the Tokyo Stock Exchange) took a serious step to bring Mobage-town (its highly successful mobile game community) global. DeNA formed a separate company for that endeavor (MiniNation KK) and localized a total of four games for Non-Japanese players, which were offered to iPhone users under a social network called MiniNation.
That social network and the four games it’s currently built around are still alive. But today, MiniNation KK announced the Facebook version of Bandit Nation, the MiniNation game with the biggest potential, will be shut down on August 31. 
That’s a pretty quick death, but DeNA has good reason to pull the plug: With around 250 new games appearing on Facebook every day, Bandit Nation has just attracted around 40,000 monthly active users on Facebook (and just over 3,000 people appear to play it on a daily basis).

Jul 26, 2010

iDOC links ebook and Twitter

DRM solution provider, iDOC announced a new solution which links PDF based secure ebook distribution solution, bookend, and Twitter.

bookend is a multi-platform ebook solution which allows to view contents online without downloading contents onto devices. The contents of bookend is protected with DRM from moving or coping the contents.

The new solution displays Twitter time-line related to the ebook pages alongside to allow a reader to tweet about the contents of the page. The company plans to provide the solution to publishers as an ebook promotion tool.

RBB Today 7/23/2010

Millmo releases ebook applications for NTT Docomo's Android device, LYNX SF-10B

Millimo started to provide millmo Book Player for SF, ebook application, and millmo for SF widget, which are to be pre-installed in LYNX SF-10B.

millmo Book Player conncects with the company's operating site, Degi Comi Store and Degi Photo Store to allow users to buy and view comics and photo books including contents with DRM

Millmo uses PacketVideo's mutlimeida application, MediaFusion, as CMS and SDC as DRM solution. Also it adopts Ride On Solution, contents viewer license program prvoided by Celsys and Voyager.

Venture Now 7/23/2010

Jul 23, 2010

Cybozu establishes Cybozu Startups focusing on new business startup

Cybozu Startups focuses on starting up new business of Internet service. The new company is recruiting engineers as a part-time staff or an intern targeting students who would like to challenge startup.

Internet watch 7/22/2010

Infoteria launches Handbook Library, paid contents distribution service for iPhone

Handbook Library allows individuals or business users to sell their contents as native iPhone application which has billing function in the application. Sellers do not need application development know-how or registration for Apple to make and sell contents.

The company expects such use cases as education organizations sell coursework document or companies sell manuals.

ITmedia 7/22/2010

Jul 22, 2010

Naked Technology links its Twitter client, Twittie, with other Twitter related services

Naked Technology partners with 5 popular services, Twib, togetter, favotter, Q&A now, and buzztter to allow Twittie users to use these services on Twittie platform.

Users of Twittie does not need to run a browser to use partnered web services such as checking popular web site, tweets, keywords or Q&A on Twitter.

Twitte is a Twitter client application available for mobile phones of NTT Docomo and Softbank, which allows feature phone users to use Twitter with user-friendliness and optimized display for mobile.

CNET 7/22/2010 

Akinai Research Institute invests in 2 startups from its operating Katana Fund

Katana Fund invests respectively 1 million yen in Keystone Technology and Good Thing. If they achieve a milestone within 1 to 3 months, total amount of investment will be 5 million yen.

Katana Fund aims to allow diversified investment with small amount in startups in early stage. The company provides incubation service, Katana, which offers not only capital but other resources such as people and environment.  

CNET 7/21/2010

10 companies including ACCESSPORT and EC Navi founded apps platform, aima

ACCESSPORT, EC Navi, NEC Biglobe, Seesaa, G-PLAN, Chance It!, Chobirich, Netmile, UNITCOM, and Runsystem announced "aima", application platform to share Web-based games and social applications. By developing a platform shared among 10 companies, it aims to compete with 3 major SNS, mixi, DeNA, and GREE, all of which have own application platform.

When developers of games or social apps register their apps on aima, the apps are to be provided on each web site of 10 member companies. Developers do not need to customize apps for each web service.

70% of revenue from apps on aima will be paid to the developer, while the rest is to be divided among 10 companies.

Nikkei 7/21/2010

Jul 21, 2010

Mash Matrix raised 10 million yen from SFP, J-Seed and others

Mash Matrix provides SaaS type mash-up dashboard service, mashmatrix Dashboard, which allows to generate mash-up contents from RSS, API of Google, Yahoo and others,XML and CSV files of intranet, and Web services of JSONP.

Also by implementing plug-ins, Salesforce.com, Lotus Notes and Oracle are to be connected.

Venture Now 7/20/2010

Japan Communications partners with Ant Capital Partners to support MVNO startups

The companies plan to invest 50 to 100 million yen for each deal and aim to invest 10 deals per year within 2 or 3 years.

Japan Communications invest in Ant Capital to develop the partnership. Both cooperate to find promising MVNO ventures. Ant Capital makes investments evaluating business continuity and Japan Communications, a pioneer of MVNO, advice those ventures from a perspective of telecommunication's trend and technology.

Nikkan Kogyo 7/21/2010

Jul 20, 2010

Location-based game, Colopl partners with T-Gate to provide tour info in Colony na Seikatsu PLUS

Colopl starts alliance with T-Gate which operates Tabi no Hakken, touring site. In the touring information page, Colo Tabi, of Colony na Seikatsu PLUS, T-Gate's running tour information will be introduced. Users attending the tour will get Coloca and Colo Tabi Map.

CNET 7/20/2010

e-factor launches group buying coupon site, TOKUPO

TOKUPO is Groupon model service targeting Tokyo area. The service is characterized by giving incentive to users who offered to purchase before the deal is done.

e-factor has been focusing on SEO as its main business. The company plans to expand areas using ad agency network developed based on the SEO business.

Venture Now 7/16/2010

Jul 16, 2010

NTT Investment Partners invests in PDC, digital signage vendor of Panasonic Group

NTT IP acquires 19.2% of PDC with 100 million yen, Mitsubushi UFJ Capital also invests in the company of 12.2% share.

ITpro 6/28/2010

Jul 15, 2010

Livedoor launches Loctouch, location service

Loctouch allows users to touch (register) places they visit and share the information with other users. At this moment the service is offered for web browser of smartphone, and native apps for iPhone and Android will be released in this summer.

By touching a venue on a map, an icon is displayed on a map. On each venue, a list of users who visited the venue and a note to post comments is prepared. Users can follow other users and view own and following users' map to view history.

Internet Watch 7/15/2010 

Recruit announces a group buying site, pomparade

pomparade is planned to launch on 21st July.

TechWave 7/15/2010

CyberAgent Investment starts Startups2010, Internet business support project

Startups2010 is a project to recruit business plan of new Internet services including social applications, services for smartphone, geomedia and real-time web. A winner will be funded with up to 100 million yen as well as business support.

CENT 7/15/2010

DeNA jointly with Bandai Namco runs mobile game site

DeNA and Bandai Namco Games jointly operate a game site introducing old classic titles intensively to exploit older people who have got friendly with console games. The site provides popular titles of console games such as Packman and Xevious by monthly.

Moba-ge-town has almost 20 million users, but many of them are under 30. By partnering with Bandai Namco, DeNA aims to attract over 30's who are not familiar with mobile games.

Nikkei 7/15/2010

Net-enabled device maker, Cerevo partners with Ustream

The companies jointly sell a digital camera, CEREVO CAM live! which allows to stream live video by just selecting Ustrema from menu and pushing start button.

CNET 7/15/2010

[Asiajin] Cybridge Launches Deal-Of-The-Day ASP Platform For Potential Service Providers

Asiajin 7/14/2010
Cybridge, a Tokyo-based web service company supporting real shop and consumer businesses, launched an ASP-based deal-of-the-day outsourcing platform called Dadat last Friday. The new service’s name may come from a Japanese imitative word meaning pound-pound reminding you of the scene that many customers are rushing into your store. The service allows potential deal-of-the-day service providers to instantly launch their own flash marketing tools which are limited-offer programs provided by Groupon, Piku, Kaupon and the like. ...

Jul 14, 2010

Live! Ads allocates new shares of 60M yen to JAFCO

Live! Ads runs affiliate aggregation service, which is an ad network to improve advertising effectiveness for affiliate providers and advertisers. It deals not only usual affiliate ads, but also ads for Twitter and social applications.

Japan.internet.com 7/14/2010

Jul 13, 2010

MicroAd provides behavior targeting ads distribution technology to MSN OFFICE SHOP, a new EC site of MSN China

MicroAd, a subsidiary of CyberAgent, partners with MSN OFFICE SHOP to provide behavior targeting ads to MSN Messenger Chat Window, MSN Today, and MSN. Also the company wins exclusive right to sell the EC spaces to Japanese sellers.

MSN OFFICE SHOP initially has about 40 shops of fashion, cosmetics, and consumer electronics and uses sales promotion tools popular in China such as time-sale and group buying.

asahi.com 7/13/2010

Hatena releases iPhone app of location-based service, Hatena Coco

Hatena Coco for iPhone allows users to post a venue they are now using GPS with photos and comments and share the information with friends. Users also post to Twitter and mixi at the same time.

CNET 7/13/2010

Online Ad Firms DAC, CyberAgent Stepping Up China Ops

D.A. Consortium and CyberAgent will each bolster their businesses in China, where the online advertising market is expanding fast.
DAC will ally with Charm Communications, providing the Beijing-based, Nasdaq-listed firm that is strong in television ads in China with online ad delivery and other technologies.
DAC also plans to team with the Japanese unit of search engine Baidu Inc. to launch a business aimed at helping Japanese companies open Chinese-language Web sites.
Through a subsidiary, CyberAgent will supply its online ad distribution technologies to a Chinese shopping site to be opened by a Microsoft Corp. unit and others.

Nikkei 7/13/2010

Jul 12, 2010

CyberAgent's blog service, Ameba surpasses 10 million members

Ameba is a service based around blog platform, which also provides community service and mini blog.

CNET 7/12/2010

Wagoon launches Groupon-model site, Toku-ten, selecting restaurants based on WOM analysis

Toku-ten basically adopts the same business model as other Groupon-model services such as Piku and KAUPON. The main characteristics of the service is that it uses its original word-of-mouth analyzing tool to select restaurants offering coupons. Wagoon uses the tool to crawl and analyze word-of-mouth information on Twitter, mixi, Ameba blog, and livedoor blog and do sales activity targeting for restaurants with more than 80% of positive comments.

Venture Now 7/9/2010

[Asiajin] Japan’s Mobile Web Market Now Worth $17 billion. Virtual Items: $500 million.

Asiajin 7/10/2010
Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications published an interesting report [PDF] about the country’s market for mobile content and services this week. According to the ministry, that market grew by 12% to hit 1.52 trillion yen ($17.3 billion) last year, including mobile advertising. ...

Jul 9, 2010

Piku Media raised 650 million yen to expand daily coupon site, "Piku" throughout all of Japan

In addition to Rebate Networks which has already invested 250 million yen, major VCs such as Global Venture Capital and DIT Partners join to invest 650 million yen in Piku Media operating group buying service. The fund raising is arranged by J-Seed, a venture incubator.

The president of the company said to expand the service in 47 prefectures with the capital.

Michael Brehm, founder of German largest social network service, Studi.vz, and Stefan Glaenzer, founder of music social network service, Last.fm and Europe's largest acution site, ricardo.de are a member of Rebate Networks.

ZDnet 7/9/2010

[Market Watch] SunBridge Celebrates the Launch of Its Plug & Play Japan Pavilion With 1st Annual Tanabata Festival

Market Watch 7/8/2010
SunBridge Corporation, a venture capital and startup services firm with offices in the Japan and the US, is officially launching its Japan Pavilion in Plug & Play Tech Center today, with the hosting of the inaugural Silicon Valley Tanabata Festival.   ...

Jul 8, 2010

NTT Docomo to go into ebook distribution business

For ebook distribution, Softbank establishes a subsidiary to deliver contents for iPad and KDDI together with Sony and others sets up a joint venture aiming at launching a service within this year. Docomo has started discussion about the business entry with publishers, printing companies, and device makers which includes establishing a new company.

ITmedia 7/8/2010

[Asiajin] GREE’s operating profit jumps 130% to $222 million in last fiscal

Asiajin 7/8/2010
Japan’s mobile social gaming giant GREE is becoming so successful, it’s scary. According to Japanese daily The Nikkei, the Tokyo-based company’s operating profit ballooned to 19.5 billion yen ($222 million) in the fiscal year that ended in June. That’s $17 million more than the company expected and a whopping 130% more than in the year before. ...

Jul 7, 2010

PeX launched group coupon service, Grpi

EC Navi's subsidiary, Pex operates point exchange site. Grpi is a service to sell coupons of restaurants, beauty salons and hotels with 50% over discount or special offers with one deal a day model.

Within this year, the company plans to allow users to use PeX point.

CNET 7/7/2010

SPiRE announced capital and business alliance with Tonchi Dot to co-develop AR ads

SPiRE accepts a new share allocation of Tonchi Dot. With this alliance, SPiRE and Tonchi Dot jointly drive advertising and marketing business utilizing Sekai Camera platform and technology.

CNET 7/7/2010

CyberAgent set up a subsidiary, "Appli Pot", providing applications and contents for smartphone

Appli Pot targets 500 million yen of sales at fiscal year ending September 2011.

Internet Watch 7/7/2010

iDOC provides "bookend", ebook distribution solution

bookend allows to download contents using bookend Desktop, native application, and to view them online with a browser. It is now available to view online with Windows (IE.Firefox) and Mac (Safari) and to download with Windows.

bookend Desktop is a free application running Adobe Reader as a viewer, which allows users to view contents regardless places or devices because it synchronizes book shelf of several devices such as desktop PC, notebook PC, and iPad.

iDOC promotes to sell the solution mainly to publishers, newspapers, and schools.

Venture Now 7/6/2010

Jul 6, 2010

Infodias starts to sell "adjustbook", ebook developing tool

adjustbook is a free web service for ebook creation, which Infodias starts to sell as a paid system for business customers.

adjustbook allows users to create Flash ebook by uploading images for free. The company provides the enhanced system of adjustbook as a server software with catalog retailers and free paper publishers.

Venture Now 7/5/2010

GNT launches a social game attracting customers to shops

GNT launches "Tsukuro! Minna no Shotengai", a social game to develop virtual shopping street on its SNS, mobion. The company expects its existing 100 of customers such as restaurants, apparel shops, retailers and services as well as 150 of new customers participate.

When users visit shops of participating companies and hold Osaihu Keitai over IC reader device, they will register the shop information in the game and enhance the shopping street and also get points used in the game. Also users will get coupons from those shops. In the future, it plans to add a GPS-linked function to attract new customers by introducing shops of areas the user visit for the first time.

Nikkei NETMarketing 7/5/2010

Jul 5, 2010

Mobile Factory launches MushHunter, social application using GPS

Mobile Factory starts to provide GPS-enabled hunting action game, MushHunter on Moba-ge-town.

iNSIDE 7/2/2010

YouToo launches YouToo Manga, comic distributinon service for iPhone in France

Dai Nippon Printing's 100% subsidiary, YouToo launches YouToo Manga providing 4 titles as the first contents. The application uses ebook viewer of Celsys and Voyager.

Nikkan Kogyo 7/2/2010

CyberAgent Investment invests in FiveMinutes, social application developer in China

CyberAgent Investment invests in FiveMinutes through CA-JAIC China Internet Fund which the company operates together with Japan Asia Investment.
Along with Internet growth, SNS users in China is increasing and the number of users of main SNS platform is predicted to reach 120 million by the end of 2010. HappyFarm1 and 2, the main titles of FiveMinutes, has over 30 million users which are provided on mixi as well.

Asahi.com 7/2/2010

Jul 2, 2010

Popular Facebook game, ZOO☆World to be launched on mixi

RockYou Asia launches ZOO☆World, zoo simulation game which has over 70 million users on Facebook. The game is provided on mixi as beta version.

4gamer.net 7/1/2010

MicroAd and SPiRE jointly provide KuchiMoba M, mobile ad network

KuchiMoba M is a mobile ad network which links two mobile ad networks, KuchiMoba operated by SPiRE and MicroAd Mobile operated by MicroAd. It has mobile media by only quality companies networked.

CNET 7/2/2010

Silver Egg Technology raised 50 million yen from CCC

Silver Egg Technology develops recommend service. Based on behavior inference database, its service analyzes co-relation between items and contents and predicts user's preferences. Its real-time prediction eliminate opportunity loss such as not showing new items, which occurs often with other batch process engines.

Venture Now 7/1/2010

Amazia launches GroupMall, group purchasing coupon site for women

GroupMall is a group purchasing service which sells coupons from restaurants and beauty salon in Tokyo which are popular for women. The target users are 20s to 40s of women.

Venture Now 7/1/2010

Jul 1, 2010

GignoSystem Japan released Saizen, location-based music search app, on iPhone App Store

Saizen allows users to know "where and what music people are listening now". Based on location information and music played when the app is activated, users can check other Saizen users are listening where the user is or at places users want to know.

Asahi.com 6/29/2010 

Social game market increases 7.5 times larger than the last year

Yano Research Institute released the result of a research about social game market on its web site, which increased 7.5 times more than the last year reaching 33.8 billion yen. The company predicts it will become 117.1 billion yen in 2011.

J-Cast 6/29/2010

Sekai Camera v2.4.0 with AR game

Tonchi Dot released Sekai Camera v2.4.0, AR application for iPhone. The new version supports AR game. The first AR game is Bakuhatu Kaboon.

ITmedia 7/1/2010