Japan

  • Line To Open Its Sticker Market To All Designers, Launch Skype Competitor

    Line To Open Its Sticker Market To All Designers, Launch Skype Competitor

    Line announced today at a press conference in Tokyo (covered by TechCrunch Japan) that it will open its sticker marketplace to all designers and companies. The platform was previously available only to Line’s partners. The open marketplace, called the Line Creators Market, will launch in April. Revenue will be divided evenly between designers and Line. Read More

  • Microsoft Announces General Availability Of Azure In Japan

    Microsoft Announces General Availability Of Azure In Japan

    Almost a year ago, Microsoft announced its plans to expand Windows Azure to Asia, with data centers in China, Japan and Australia. Today, the company announced that its two regions in Japan (Japan East and Japan West) have now hit general availability, and Azure users in Japan will now be able to store their data locally. As Satya Nadella noted a year ago (when he was still the president… Read More

  • Viki To Launch In Japan, 5 Months After Acquisition By Rakuten

    Viki To Launch In Japan, 5 Months After Acquisition By Rakuten

    Viki, a streaming video platform that crowdsources translated subtitles, will launch a beta version of its site for Japanese viewers tomorrow. The announcement comes five months after Tokyo-based Rakuten paid a reported $200 million for Viki, which is based in Singapore. Read More

  • How Frontback Is Getting Popular in Japan

    How Frontback Is Getting Popular in Japan

    While today’s update is a significant one for photo-sharing app Frontback, something unexpected is happening as well — Frontback is blowing up in Japan, China and Brazil. In fact, the app is now more popular in these countries than in the U.S. “In the U.S., people are using Frontback for important events like the Superbowl to make a statement and share what they are… Read More

  • Messaging App Line Launches C2C Marketplace Line Mall In Japan

    Messaging App Line Launches C2C Marketplace Line Mall In Japan

    Messaging app Line began the limited rollout of its new C2C e-commerce platform Line Mall today (link to TechCrunch Japan via Google Translate). The app, which is now available for download in Japan’s Google Play store, is a sign that the service is doubling down on its efforts to increase engagement among users as it competes WeChat, WhatsApp and other popular messaging apps. Line Mall… Read More

  • Linkify’s SDK Wants To Make Mobile Searches Less Cumbersome

    Linkify’s SDK Wants To Make Mobile Searches Less Cumbersome

    Performing Web searches on a mobile devices is often a fiddly experience that involves flipping between multiple apps and tabs in a single window. (I often end up juggling my smartphone and tablet to use an app and surf the Internet at the same time). Japanese startup Studio Ousia wants to make mobile searches less tedious for users with its new SDK Linkify. Read More

  • Sunnycomb Forecasts How Each Day’s Weather Will Make You Feel

    Sunnycomb Forecasts How Each Day’s Weather Will Make You Feel

    Tokyo-based Weathernews Inc (WNI) already makes Japan’s top weather app with over 10 million downloads to date. So why does the company, one of the largest weather service providers in the world, want to enter the English-speaking market with a new iOS app called Sunnycomb that will vie for users against a hoard of other weather apps? Read More

  • Japanese Personal Finance App Moneytree Raises $1.6M To Expand Into The U.S.

    Japanese Personal Finance App Moneytree Raises $1.6M To Expand Into The U.S.

    Moneytree, a personal finance iOS app, has received $1.6 million in seed funding led by DG Incubation (Digital Garage’s investment branch), with participation from private investors, including senior executives from PayPal, MasterCard and Morgan Stanley. The Tokyo-based startup will use the proceeds to expand into international markets, including the U.S., in 2014. An iPad version… Read More

  • Pinterest Launches Japanese Version 18 Months After Rakuten Investment

    Pinterest Launches Japanese Version 18 Months After Rakuten Investment

    The Japanese version of Pinterest is now live as the site ramps up its global expansion. The launch comes 18 months after Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten became an investor in Pinterest. For the first time ever, with Japanese Pinterest, Rakuten login is available on a non-Rakuten product. Japanese users can log onto the site using Rakuten Connect, its version of Facebook Connect which… Read More