Nov 10, 2014

[The Bridge] KDDI invests $113M, partners with 11 internet companies to better engage smartphone users

Japan’s Nikkei reported earlier this morning that Japanese telco KDDI will partner with 11 internet companies to provide the former company’s subscribers with an integrated portal menu. By integrating a user base of 40 million monthly visitors in total using services provided by these companies, KDDI wants to compete against Yahoo Japan which has one of the largest user bases in the Japanese internet industry. 
The article says that partnering companies include Weathernews, iStyle (a company behind cosmetics buzz site @Cosme), and Navitime Japan (transit navigation and updates), AppBroadcast (a company behind game media site GameGift, Natasha (a company behind j-pop culture site Natalie, acquired by KDDI in August), Hatena (social bookmark service), and Luxa (funraised from KDDI in October last year). ... 
In a series of these partnering efforts, KDDI also announced that it has acquired Nanapi (lifehack site operator, we learned that it has been acquired for about $72.6 million through our recent interview.) and BitSeller (mobile app developer). Furthermore, KDDI said it has invested in internet startups like Jorte (calendar app developer) and Vasily (a company behind fashion coordination app iQON)The total amount of these investments is worth 12 billion yen (about $113 million). ...
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The Bridge 10/16/2014 [en]

  • Combining acquisition, minority investment, and partnership, KDDI seems to be trying to do un-heard of scale of experiment to create an ecosystem for mobile apps. It is really interesting how the concept will bring value to the telco and evolve in the near future. 

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