So-net M3 (TSE:2413) is a very profitable and unique company which is providing a community site ‘m3.com’ exclusively for medical doctors.
Doctors are restricted by confidentiality, so they cannot use typical community sites to share information about their professional life or skills. M3 provides them with a bulletin board service.
M3 has 390,000 registered medical professionals, and 162,000 of their registered users are medical doctors.
M3 reported 7.4 billion yen ($74M) revenue, and 3.4 billion yen ($34M) in pre-tax profits for FY2008. They earned this large amount of profit with only 50 employees and 6 executives (as of March, 2008). 
The company’s main revenue comes from providing marketing tools to pharmaceutical companies. M3 enables sales people to reach doctors through the site, instead of bothering doctors with frequent office visits.
M3’s other businesses are job search [JP], clinical trial matching, Q&A sites for patients (AskDoctors [JP]), Doctors Blog [JP], business consulting services for new practitioners [JP], and general advertisements.
M3 acquired MDLinx, a US-based medical community site for 950 million yen ($9.5M) in 2006. M3 is also invested in the Korean market through a company called Medi C&C.
So-net M3 is a subsidiary of So-net Entertainment (TSE:3789). So-net Entertainment is an Internet service provider, and a subsidiary of Sony (TSE:6758, NYSE:SNE).
1. FY2008 financial report [PDF] [JP]
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