Elon Musk. Mark Zuckerberg. Jack Ma. These are the names people think of when we talk about disruptive tech businesses. Yet, not many are aware that some technical founders from Japan could be changing the world.
With changing regulations, increasing investments, and megabank support, fintech is ready to explode in Japan. The country has a ton of personal assets, 52 percent of which are held in cold, hard, cash. Japan’s piggy banks are due for an upgrade in the smartphone era. Here are some of the tech companies posed to do it.
Sato Katsuaki isn’t a popular Japanese founder because of how often he surprises people who aren’t paying attention. He’s popular because of how often he surprises those of us who are paying attention. Sato is the founder and CEO of Metaps, a Japanese app monetization startup that has also moved into payments.
Now anyone can get a piece of Japan’s hottest startup. Metaps, the company best known for its robust app monetization products and Spike, a fast-growing online payment solution, is going public. The announcement comes on the heels of a US$36 million series C round the company secured earlier this year. The IPO, scheduled for August 28th, is expected to bring in a further JPY 3.8 billion (US$30.6 million).
The Android monetization gurus over at Metaps have joined forces with Hakuhodo in a brand new marketing partnership. The two Japanese companies will now work together to create better analytics solutions for TV commercial campaigns. The goal is to make it easy to calculate just how much TV adverts affect app downloads, ROI, UA and other in-app activity. TV advertising for mobile games has skyrocketed in popularity as a user acquisition strategy. Clash of Clans, Heroes Charge and Game of War proved the format's strength at this year’s Super Bowl, spending over $15 million on video advertising slots.
Japanese UA platform Metaps has added experience to its board of directors with the appointment of ex-Square Enix CEO and president Yoichi Wada. Wada headed up the Japanese publisher from 2001 to 2013, and is now president of US/Japanese cloud gaming platform Shinra. He's also served a chairman of the Japanese Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association (CESA).
Tokyo-based Metaps, the startup best known for an app monetization platform using artificial intelligence, partnered with Japanese robotics and hardware startup Yukai Engineering towards launching a monetization platform for robotics startups. The new platform is called Metaps Robotics and willed be launched after this summer. Yukai Engineering has developed social communications robots such as Coconatch and Bocco, having extensive experiences in developing products utilizing internet and sensors. Joining forces, the two companies will try to establish a new business model leveraging the cloud, sensor, hardware technologies and apps to help drive the development of the robotics industry.
We used a scientific, data-based approach in determining which paths to success are available for app developers looking to expand globally. Using the Google Play top grossing charts of 12 primary app markets, we first determined similarity based on the number of shared titles. Secondly, we took a look at the genres that make up the top grossing charts and how similar they are between these countries. For the purpose of determining the degree of crossover between the top grossing app charts of two markets, we used the following logic:
Japanese company Metaps, which in recent times has sold services to Android developers to monetize their apps — offering an SDK that let app makers quickly incorporate in-app offers to increase user engagement and revenues — has pulled in a $36 million Series C round of financing from existing and new investors in Japan. The business has now raised a total of $51.2 million to date.Investors in the latest round are not being disclosed at this point but two years ago its $11 million Series B included investment from Fidelity Growth Partners Japan. The company has also previously partnered with social messaging platform Line as part of the latter’s virtual currency push, with Line Coin.
The typical Japanese startup never hits series C – good thing Metaps founder and CEO Katsuaki Sato does not mind standing out from the crowd. Sato’s firm is not gunning for an IPO, rather, Metaps announced today that it has nabbed JPY 4.3 billion (US$36 million) in a series C round. The full list of investors are not being disclosed at this time, but the company has confirmed that previous investors were included, though Sato declined to identify them. Given Metaps’ global reach, this means that Fidelity Growth Partners Japan, the only non-domestic VC firm among the existing investors is very likely involved.