“ngi group” Changes Name To “Motion Beat”

ngi group [J] has announced at today’s meeting of the board of directors that they have resolved to change their firm name to “Motion Beat,” as a condition of the acknowledgement of the modification of one section of their company statute at the meeting of stockholders to be held on June 22nd.

ngi group set up the Net Agent company in February of 1998, started up various internet related businesses, and changed their name to “ngi group” in July of 2007.  In December of 2010, they merged with the once subsidiary company Fractalist, developed internet advertising businesses as the main shaft of their business, and currently are activating internet advertising services and consumer businesses specialized for the smartphone market.  With this as their starting point, the company is actively pulsing, and they have their mind set on busting out services one after another that rock user activity, and so they have determined to change their trade name from “ngi group” to “Motion Beat.”

Translation authorized by VSMedia

Ngi Group Unveils API That Integrates Your App With Multiple Social Networks

Ngi Group, which has spawned a number of new Internet businesses in Tokyo and is known for having invested in Japan’s top social network Mixi[J], unveiled a new API called “ngi social connect[J]”  at a serial meet-up by and for Japanese social app providers and developers[J] “Social App Night” today.

The API allows app developers to integrate their apps with multiple social network platforms more easily, such as Twitter and Facebook, without putting a code for each.   The company expects to develop ad solutions and marketing services that can reach social app users whom Google Ad can never reach, they say, based on the technologies of social graph marketing and behavioral targeting.

In September, the new API will be installed on Tokyo-based commerce site developer Venture Republic[J]‘s price-comparison service Coneco.net[J], word-of-mouth-based marketing service for hotels and inns Hotel.jp[J] and ngi’s iPhone/social app showcase Applie[J].

Above: Yozo Kaneko, CEO of ngi Group and his colleague demo-ed “ngi social connect” at Social App Night, Akihabara, Tuesday.

Startup Showdown: Two Business Contests Announce Finalists

A couple of tech-oriented business contests announced the finalists on Friday.

Logo of ngi groupAeria's Logo

At first, Tokyo-based VC firm ngi Group and online game developer Aeria[J] jointly held the 1st edition of business contest for potential student entrepreneurs, which is titled “I-SHIN” meaning revolution in Japanese. The plan entries were open from last April to last May. The contest’s winners are as follows.

Disclaimer: The winners’ names were translated in accordance with typical Japanese pronunciation. Each of Chinese characters has usually several kinds of pronunciation. In order to spell their names correctly and to put appropriate prefixes, we will need to contact each of them one by one. Please forgive us your inconvenience if any incorrectly spelled names, and be free to ask us to correct it if you find any.

Award Winner Description
Excellent basecamp_logo

(Mr. Seiji Ueno, Mr. Yasutatsu Takai and Mr. Eiji Takada)
The unit of three guys is running a service called “FormAnalytics“, which is aiming at improving the format of mail entry form and order form so that website visitors are willing to fill all fields on it and to submit. The service is currently beta version, and you can use it upon request.
(Entertainment Category)
Mobakids' Logo
(Ms. Yukano Nishijima and Mr. Kentaro Tamura)
Mobakids is a mobile app tech start-up based in Tokyo. Their service is a cartoon posting and sharing website called Mangaroo[J](requiring authentication and authorized beta users only), and it’s intend to create a marketplace where professional and amateur cartoonists can sell their works online. The service is currently closed beta version.
(Extra Category)
Orihime's Logo
(Ms. Yuko Kinoshita, Orihime[J] is the name of the brand that the company developed)
Five female students from Keio University graduate school formed a company to provide product planning and market research targeting female potential online shoppers in their 20s and 30s. The company also provides a platform to give customer feedback to apparel manufacturers for improving their products.

ngi group and Aeria will assist the winners to put their services on practical business basis.

There will be the 2nd edition of the contest and its business plan entry is open from July 15th to September 15th, which focuses on a business that may trigger new waves and that uses Mixi app platform.

See Also:

Secondary, as we reported on Asiajin last January, Cyber Agent and other five Internet companies had jointly a business plan contest called START2009, and the contest’s finalists were announced on Friday.

The contest host companies assist and support these finalists in terms of financial aspect as well as business partnerships.

Finalists Description
Logo of 30min.
30 Minutes[J]
30min. (pronounced as “San-Zero Minutes” in Japanese) develops a location based town guide portal and allows users to see a listing of shops located near where you are. Recently, it releases a newer version of the iPhone app and allows us to receive latest update on the restaurant information with a new feature supported by iPhone OS 3.0. Its restaurant retrieval for lunch is very popular. iPhone app available from here.
Chephilo's Logo
Chephilo is a Tokyo-based start-up and strong in basically developing web application services, and recently it invented a new service which distributes information associated with keywords spoken on TV programs. It also provides meta-data distribution service for cross-media marketing.
Logo of General Healthcare
General Healtecare[J]
General Healthcare provides a variety of information services on the web for medical doctors as well as users who are looking for a plastic surgery or a refractive surgery (LASIK clinic).
Basecamp's Logo
The unit of three guys is running a service called “FormAnalytics“, which is aiming at improving the format of mail entry form and order form so that website visitors are willing to fill all fields on it and to submit. The service is currently beta version, and you can use it upon request.
JXPress' Logo
JX Press[J]
JX Press develops a cross-media marketing solution, and was chosen as the finalist because of their new business of news contents delivery over the Internet. CEO Katsuhiro Yoneshige is also known as a contributor for a pageview-earning popular news blog Agora which is expected to be considered as Japanese style of the world’s first ranked news blog Huffinton Post.

The contest secretariat unveiled the total number of submited plans reached 250, and 18 business plans passed the preliminary selection examination given by the contest organizers. For more details on the companies chosen as the finalists, please visit Cyber Agent Investment’s website[J].

See Also:

Via: KIGYOKA.COM [J] (News Portal on Japanese Entrepreneurship)

Ngi Group Cuts Off Over 50% Employees


Ngi Group, one of the most active venture capital firm in Japanese web industry, also known as their successful early investment to the Japan’s largest social network Mixi, declared their downsizing plan in February.

When the rationalization plan [J, pdf] was reported at first by Nikkei Net, it was said that they were asking solicit voluntary retirement to all of their 58 employees and expects 80% of them to leave.

Shortly after the plan disclose, another release [J, pdf] reported that 32 out of 58 people (55%) applied the program to leave at the end of February.

Ngi Group, former Netage Capital, is remembered as an advocate for “The Bit Valley” concept which named Shibuya (which Chinese letters can mean “bitter” and “valley”) and around area as a Japanese Silicon Valley in 1999-2000, has been incubating a lot of web ventures in Japan.

Although Ngi Goupe said that this re-organization will not affect their business operation, it is pity that they had to announce and execute this kind of re-structuring.

See Also:

Tokyo’s Valley of the Netrepreneurs – 1999, 10 years ago!