For $12.8 Million: Yahoo Japan Acquires Decopic Creator Community Factory

Acquisitions are relatively rare in Japan’s tech startup scene, but today Yahoo Japan caused a splash when the country’s biggest web company announced it acquired Tokyo-based Community Factory (which launched in 2006).

TechCrunch Japan is reporting that the price stands at around 1 billion yen, which currently translates to US$12.8 million.

Community Factory runs a number of social services and apps, but in its press release, Yahoo Japan singles out Decopic, a multi-lingual photo sharing application that currently boasts 7 million downloads on Android and iOS (profile on Asiajin from last year).

According to TechCrunch Japan, the so-called Mixi Fund, set up by Japan’s largest real-identity social network Mixi back in 2009, is the biggest shareholder in Community Factory (40%).

Yahoo Japan’s move isn’t surprising: the company’s new CEO Manabu Miyasaka said in April (when he took over from Masahiro Inoue) that he plans to strengthen Yahoo Japan’s position in the mobile and social fields.

Just a few days ago, Yahoo Japan also announced it has set up the YJ Capital fund (capitalized at 1 billion yen) to invest in promising startups.

Decopic: Kawaii Photo Sharing App Gets 500,000 Users In 2 Weeks


Decopic
, a “kawaii” photo editing and sharing app Tokyo-based startup Community Factory developed for iOS and Android, has hit the 500,000 user milestone – in just 2 weeks. According to the company, the app was released on October 19 and reached that user base on November 2.

Community Factory says they followed a multi-platform, multi-language strategy: Decopic is connected to Facebook, Twitter, Mixi, and Sina Weibo and Ren Ren in China. It’s currently available in English, Chinese, French, Indonesian, Japanese, and Korean.

Here’s the geographic user break down:

Decopic is very similar to Snapeee, another kawaii mobile photo service from Japanese company Mind Palette: users can “decorate” pictures with over 300 so-called stamps, frames, text, etc.

It’s available for free:
iOS
Android

Here’s a Decopic promo video:

The First Mixi Appli Is Blamed And Stopped As Discriminatory

mixi-logo

Mixi, the biggest social network service in Japan, started their OpenSocial compliant application platform Mixi Appli officially opened to every Mixi user on PC on last month. Mixi Appli Mobile is planned to follow this month.

After couple of months closed beta test, Mixi successfully lined up 130 applications by third parties and affiliated startups, including big names like Yahoo! Japan, Konami, Recruit, etc.

However, a company called Community Factory, start-up got the first OpenSocial app grant by Mixi, which encouraged to create Mixi Appli, released a social game seems to be inspired by Facebook’s successful Friends For Sale!, but with surprisingly sick taste. They named the game as “My Slave-chan”. (“-chan” shows some affinity. “-chan” is a colloquial form of “-san”, which corresponds to English “Mr./Ms.”.)

Even the concept of selling your friends on the Facebook app got some critics. On this slave application, according to their erased instruction, players are supposed to buy their friend on her/his social graph as a slave, with giving another name, get her/his to shout your making line, force to serve as a slave to earn money.

cuty-my-slave-screenshot

The application rapidly caused condemnation among bloggers in hours after launch, and the app was withdrawn on (the very same Mixi Appli platform launch day) August 25th.

On Mixi Appli, Community Factory also released a game “Chusha Sensou” (“Parking War” in English) which is similar with Parking Wars on Facebook, and a game “Densetsu no Totem Pole” (“legendary totem pole” in English) which has the pretty same concept as the popular Facebook game Tower Bloxx, according to the blogger mixiapp.

via ITmedia News

See Also:

anonymous blog on this issue entry on Hatena Anonymous Blog [J]

Mixi’s Press Release for Mixi Appli platform launch [J]