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Tokyo-based Monstar Lab, the company providing crowdsourced offshore app development service Sekai Lab, announced on Thursday that it has fundraised 700 million yen (about $6.4 million US) in the fourth round. This round was led by YJ Capital, the investment arm of Yahoo Japan (TSE:4689), with participatin from VC firms including Shinsei Corporate Investment and Fenox Venture Capital, in addition to Shimane-based local businesses like San-in Chuo TV Broadcasting and Tanabe.
This round follows their previous $2.5 million funding from Shimane-based Gogin capital and others back in November of 2016, $3.3 million funding from Pasonatech and DG Incubation back in November of 2015, and about $1 million funding from East Ventures, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, and SMBC Venture Capital back in 2014. With the latest funding, the company has raised at least a total of 1.45 billion yen (about $13.2 million) from investors to date.
Similar to the reason why Gogin Capital participated in the previous round, getting companies like San-in Chuo TV Broadcasting and Tanabe as a shareholder may have something to do with the fact that Monstar Lab has a development location in Matsue, Shimane Prefecture. While offering existing offshore app development services as well, the company plans to invite more engineers from overseas to these locations within Japan, looking to help improve the situation in and around Shimane where companies still struggle with lack of system engineers.
With the recent acquisition of Danish app agency Nodes, the Tokyo company now has 17 locations worldwide for sales and app development efforts. With the latest funding, the company says it will aim to help Japanese companies expand into the Europe and US markets (localization and digital marketing), curate cutting-edge technologies and products from the global market, as well as expecting to receive more orders of outsourced app development work in the Europe and US markets.
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy