Nielsen: Evernote And Dropbox See Significant User Growth In Japan

Certain American startups do pretty well in Japan, if a report issued today by Nielsen Japan (NetRatings) is to be believed (as with all web statistics providers, take the following numbers with a grain of salt).

The company investigated the traffic Dropbox and Evernote have seen in the past 12 months, and it appears the first five months of 2011 have been especially successful for both services in Japan.

As you can see in the graph below, Nielsen registered 559,000 visitors for Evernote in this country last month (for the website and app) and even reports 637,000 monthly visitors for Dropbox. According to Nielsen, Evernote had just 67,000 users in May 2010, while Dropbox had 325,000 (all data: PC access only).

Both Evernote and Dropbox were launched in the US in 2008. Evernote established an office in Japan, the company’s No. 2 market worldwide, in 2010. Dropbox started offering its UI in Japanese in December 2010.

Evernote for i-mode Released For Docomo Feature Phone

Evernote, a popular note-taking service, who has achieved a big, maybe bigger success in Japan than elsewhere, launched a new app to cover majority of Japanese cellphone users on Docomo i-mode, which is a mobile internet service subscribed by over 48 million people.

“Evernote for i-mode” [J, Docomo Market] is an i-mode Appli version of Evernote.

via Evernote Japan release [J]

Which Foreign Startups Are Doing Well In Japan “Under The Radar”?

It’s no secret that in recent years, quite a few foreign (mostly American) web brands have made it big in Japan: Google, YouTube, Twitter, Wikipedia, Amazon etc.

But what about startups that don’t have huge budgets to internationalize, no staff in Japan and – in some cases – not even a Japanese user interface (usually a dealbreaker for most local web users).

Here’s a recent (yet surely incomplete) list:

  • Instagram (we just recently reported about the silly printed how-to-use-Instagram book available in Japan)
  • Foursquare (KDDI wants to help Foursquare to become bigger in this country)
  • Bump
  • Hootsuite
  • Jimdo
  • Tweetdeck
  • Tumblr (official data submitted from Tumblr to Quantcast shows Japan is their No. 5 market worldwide)
  • Seesmic

In 2010, Evernote established an office in Japan, the company’s No. 2 market worldwide, so it can’t really be part of this list – even though the app was already very popular before that.

Which foreign web and mobile startups flying under the radar in Japan have we forgotten?

Evernote CEO: A Half Of The Third Party Developers Are Japanese

Silicon valley-based tech start-up Evernote, which has introduced services for note-taking and archiving for PCs and smartphone devices, announced new partnerships with seven Japanese companies on Wednesday.

Evernote CEO Phil Libin is now visiting Japan, and he says, “Our Japanese users share almost 18% of our total user accounts, which is the second place in the order of our user count by country.  The first book for Evernote was published in the U.S. just a few weeks ago, but in Japan, eight books have been available for Evernote users.”

Evernote shook hands with:

(a publishing company producing educational toys)
They provide content of science experiments for adults for Evernote’s dynamic catalog feature called the Trunk.  (cf.: Otona-no-Kagaku “Science for Adults”)

Tokyu Hands[J]
(zakka and hardware store chain)
They provide a series of quick tutorials to make your daily life better for the Evernote Trunk, which is called “Hint File[J]“.

NEC Biglobe[J]
(one of Japan’s largest ISPs)
They will integrate some of their portal sites with the Evernote Site Memory, a new feature that allows you to save webpages on your Evernote app.

King Jim
(manufacturing office stationary and simple digital gadgets)
They are well known for having developed a simple digital memo called Pomera[J].  They’ve introduced the  iPhone app[J] for transferring text from Pomera to the iPhone by reading a QR code, and it enables transferring text to Evernote as well.

NTT West
(Japan’s largest telco’s arm in charge of the western part of the country)
They introduced a tobacco sized server called N-TRANSFER[J], which allows you to connect USB devices to cloud services and to connect USB devices to remote USB devices over the Internet without PC.   Now it enables transferring images taken with PFU’s image scanner ScanSnap to Evernote.

Flight System Consulting[J]
(system engineering company)
They developed  a variety of the iPhone apps.   The latest version of TweetMe[J], their Twitter client app for the iPhone, allows you to tweet text you’ve noted on Evernote just simply by pressing a button on the app.

Just Systems
(producing a well-known Japanese word-processing software and an input method editor(IME))
ATOK Pad for iPhone, an input method editor developed by them, supported a new feature that allows you to transfer what you’ve entered with the editor to Evernote by a simple single action. (Refer to this Asiajin story for details about Just Systems.)

According to Mr. Libin, more than 2,000 third parties have developed their products using the Evernote API, some 250 products of them are available at stores on the Internet or off the Internet, and almost a half of all the third party developers are Japanese companies and individuals.

See Also:

Evernote Gets Bigger, Opens Office in Japan

Evernote‘s press conference was held in Tokyo on 23rd June, just one day before their second anniversary.

At the conference, Evernote’s CEO Phil Libin, who was visiting Tokyo, announced a lot of new things for their Japanese users.

1. Japan branch

They opened a 100% subsidiary, Evernote Japan. Evernote’s vice president Takeshi Nakajima, who worked in Sony Vaio team before, leads the local team. Japan branch is to hire 5 more employees this year and cooperate with US head office.

2. New feature – Japanese OCR now supported

Evernote now can extract Japanese texts from printed letters and handwriting images.

3. More and More Partnership with Japanese companies

In addition to the current partners like Canon(document scanner integration), Sony(Vaio pre-installed) and Eye-fi(bundled package),

Package ditribution

SourceNext sells a packaged version of Evernote “Starter Pack” on July 2nd.

Internet portal

NEC’s internet service provider Biglobe[J] offers Evernote to their customers on its portal.

Restaurant review web service

Groumet Navigator Gurunabi

Gurunavi[J], one of the largest restaurant review site to add “save to Evernote” path.

Gadget integration

A big stationary maker Pentel[J] will make a new version of their handwrite-recording digital pen Airpen [J] which supports Evernote connection.

Evernote in Japan

Libin mentioned some interesting points on how Evernote is popular and getting attentions in Japan.

  • Number of Japanese users is 350,000, which is 1/10 of all users.
  • 18% of active users come from Japan, which is the second highest after USA(57%), more than the sum of following 10 countries(Spain, UK, Canada, …).
  • Japan has the highest number of local collaborating partners
  • Many Evernote books are published in Japanese, whilst no book in USA. – I confirmed at least 5 dedicated books on Amazon Japan. See below (translated book titles are not official but by me).

via Netafull [J]

See Also:

Event summary on official Japanese blog [J]

Pentel’s release [J]