Japanese startup Booklap partners with Baidu’s Hao123



See the original story in Japanese.

Booklap is a handy service that helps you find great books. It does so by presenting quotes from books that have that impressed other users. Tokyo-based Prosbee, the startup behind the initiative, recently announced it has partnered with the world’s second largest search engine, Baidu, to provide this quote presentation on the Japanese version of Hao123, a web directory from the Chinese search giant.

According to Alexa, Hao123 ranks as the 29th most popular global site, and 6th in Mainland China. This traffic volume is about equal to that of Google Japan, MSN, or Pinterest.

The site has a significant presence among users over 30. And with this partnership, the startup aims to make more middle-aged users aware of its service.

Booklap is presenting its content for Japanese users, but they have been aggressively participating in many startup competitions outside Japan. This leads us to believe that they’re interested in business expansion around the Asian region. We’ve asked Baidu about whether they plan to extend this collaboration beyond the Japanese language, but we have not yet received any comment on that.

In an entertainment industry crowded with various media formats, busy consumers everywhere want a service that recommends books they’ll like. So I expect the startup to start working on global expansions as soon as possible.

Hao123 was launched back in 1999 and was acquired by Baidu in 2004. The directory launched its Japanese version back in 2012, and has been gathering attractive content to establish a solid presence in the Japanese market. Prior to partnering with Booklap, the Chinese giant also started content syndication with Japanese entertainment wesite Bokete.jp.

Booklap raised 20 million yen (approximately $200,000) last month from Incubate Fund, Voyage Ventures, and Genuine Startups.