For Social App Development: Mixi And CyberAgent Launch Joint Venture

Japan’s social apps boom isn’t ending: Today, two of the country’s biggest web companies, namely Mixi and CyberAgent, announced they will launch a joint venture to produce social apps for mixi, Japan’s biggest social network, on February 1. CyberAgent is best known for its massive Ameba blog platform, Japan’s biggest (12.4 million registered users).
The new venture, which is called Grenge (no website yet), is capitalized at 5 million yen ($606,000) and owned 51% by CyberAgent and 49% by mixi. Grenge is expected to produce apps for Japanese feature phones and smartphones from April this year. By March 2012, the plan is to have deployed a total of eight titles on Mixi.
Grenge is expected to generate $6 million in sales by September this year.
What’s interesting is that with this move, mixi is moving further away from its position as a strict, “neutral” social network/graph provider. Its big rivals in terms of user numbers, mobile gaming networks Mobage-town and GREE, have been doubling as platform and app providers since they opened their sites to third-party developers in 2009/2010.
In 2009, Mixi established the so-called Mixi Fund to invest in startups that provide social apps. Since then, big M has invested in several companies, for example in Tokyo-based social games startup Pikkle ($1.6 million).

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