Wrap Media has raised $4 million it will use to grow its business in Japan. The new funding comes from returning investor Dream Incubator, a Tokyo-based consulting and private equity firm that has also signed a strategic partnership with Wrap Media. The San Francisco-based startup lets its users create interactive media for mobile browsing that are easier to navigate than responsive mobile sites, but quicker and cheaper to build than an app.
Features created with Wrap Media’s tools, called “wraps,” have app-like functions, but can be embedded into websites or sent as web links. Founder and chief executive officer Eric Greenberg says that they are “as simple as making a PowerPoint,” but can include video, e-commerce, geolocation, and customer support features.
A recent example of a wrap is this customer-relationship management software handbook by Salesforce. Facebook’s interactive ad builder Canvas can be considered a rival, but it only works on social network.
“Facebook’s launch of Canvas is another validator that there is a need for a better way to tell stories, engage and convert on mobile. Wrap, though, does not only worked in walled gardens; it runs anywhere that a web link or webpage operates,” says Greenberg.
Wrap Media plans to target Japanese brands that want to boost their mobile engagement, but want a more simple and cost-effective alternative to building native apps.
In a statement to TechCrunch, Dream Incubator said, “Japan is one of the largest markets for mobile applications and mobile advertisement. The market is still growing rapidly with smartphone penetration continuing to increase. With this rapid shift to mobile from PCs, most Japanese companies are still struggling to deepen their engagement with their customers. Wrap can meet this gap; therefore we see great opportunities in the Japanese market.”