GMO-VP Launches “F-Commerce” Fund And Invests In Platform Developer


On Friday, GMO Venture Partners[J], an investment arm of Shibuya-based web juggernaut GMO Internet Group, launched a private equity fund specializing in investing in start-ups who are developing e-commerce and ad services to be provided on the Facebook platform (a.k.a. F-commerce), which is called Social Ad & Commerce Technology Fund.   It has a JPY57M(=USD670,000) volume as of its launch and can be grown up to JPY2B(=USD23.8M) in the future.
As their first portfolio, they invested in Aratana, a tech start-up based in Miyazaki, a southern coastal city of the Kyushu Island.  The company has introduced an easy-to-use shopping cart system integrated for Facebook, which is called Social Gateway, and has installed more than 1,000 on-Facebook commerce pages for Japanese SMEs in partnership with social commerce integrators such as Sakuragaoka Works Inc. (previously known as Arcarna)
Example: A “F-commerce” page developed by Aratana for Rice-made cosmetic manufacturer Rice Force.

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