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)
- Tumblr (official data submitted from Tumblr to Quantcast shows Japan is their No. 5 market worldwide)
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?