On Wednesday, Tokyo-based independent venture capital Infinity Venture Partners (IVP) LLP announced that Japan’s second largest telecommunication company KDDI has committed to invest on IVP Fund B, L.P. The fund has fundraised from Japanese tech ventures, and is investing in mobile start-up companies in Japan and Mainland China. (Refer to these Asiajin article  for more details about IVP Fund.) It’s worth about USD14.6M as of Oct. 16th, and KDDI will have the second largest share of the fund in the amount of investment when the company redeem the commitment. KDDI’s amount of the investment is not disclosed.
KDDI invested in the country’s second largest social network service GREE[J] in 2006, and intends to be more aggressive to invest in potential application developers and service providers in the world’s mobile industry.
Japan’s largest social networking website Mixi[J] launched a social app service for cellphone users called “Mixi Appli Mobile” on Tuesday.
The app service’s PC edition called “Mixi Appli” was introduced last August, which allows any Mixi users to choose their favorites from a showcase of the apps and to enjoy playing with their social friends online.
Mixi App Mobile presented as much as 104 titles as of its service release, including Bokujo Monogatari (A Story of Ranch) developed by Liveware[J] and Machitsuku (Developing a town) by Unoh.
Mixi App developers need to get their works examined by Mixi prior to presenting them to the users. Once the examination is passed, the state given for the app will turn from “under development” to “in service”.
According to Mr. Akinori Harada, the head of Mixi service operations and the company’s managing director, mobile access to Mixi’s web-based services share almost 70% of all usages. Social apps are more compatible with cellphone handsets in terms of the user’s convenience, Harada says.
In order to motivate potential developers to introduce their apps, the company supports them to monetize apps by distributing in-app ads. The app developer can earn JPY0.01 (USD0.0001) per one impression when presenting in-app ads to the users. In-app transaction API is to be introduced in early November, and it will allow users to pay money in the app by using Mixi’s user point system. Corresponding to the amount of the point paid to the app, its developer will be able to get cash after deducting Mixi’s 20% handling charge.
Due to the system’s heavy load that the rush of many new users has caused, users have been in technical difficulties to log in to Mixi App Mobile service during the last two days. Machitsuku, one of the game apps mentioned above, is now ranked the 1st in the number of the app users, and has earned more than 600,000 users in just two days since its release.
Japan’s no.2 cellphone carrier KDDI au announced to start the deployment of a new power control system to their cellphone base stations as to switch the power sources to three ways of solar power, battery and midnight power service.
Solar-powered stations used to be deployed only in the areas which have no access to commercial power supply, and batteries installed at the stations are prepared only for backup for power outage.
The company expects to cut CO2 emissions by 20% to 30% with this system in running a base station. Some manufacturers have also introduced solar chargeable cellphone handsets. This eco-friendly concept of tribrid powered stations and solar-powered handsets can contribute to avoiding global warming as well as providing us disaster-proof communication systems.