Today’s a national holiday in Japan, with nary a story to provide. But, here’s an Extra.
Sensei Note, a social network service for teachers in Japan, launched an iOS app today. While their website is developed on a responsive design platform for mobile devices which can be adapted to tablets and PCs, Loupe – the startup behind the service – expects to accelerate user acquisition with the app, especially from mobile users. Its Android version is now being developed, targeting market entry in late July or early August. To grasp attention from teachers who are usually busy working during the week and even on weekends, the company announced the launch of its iOS app on a holiday; most Japanese schools are on summer breaks from this week as well.
Since its web app’s official launch back in March, the company surpassed 60% in MAU (monthly active user) ratio which is extremely higher than that in the gaming and e-commerce spaces. According to the company, their eventual PC/mobile usage ratio is almost 50/50, so they expect to increase mobile users by giving them better accessibility with the new mobile app.
For teachers who are busy at school but cherish their personal time at home, they must make use of their commuting hours. Many teachers who live in rural areas use cars to commute and are unable to make use of the app while driving. However, the improvement in mobile accessibility is seen helping the company acquire more users.
Loupe won top at the Startup Weekend Tokyo event back in November 2012, as well as winning the 8th place at the former event’s global competition Global Startup Battle. The team fundraised over $30,000 through their campaign on Japanese crowdfunding site ReadyFor in 2013, and subsequently obtained government grants from Jump Start Nippon, the entrepreneurship encouragement program by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. If memory serves, they rented a house in Tokyo’s residential district which they share along with the commitment to develop the service under the same roof. They are still a bootstrapping startup, but I assume they will soon start exploring funding opportunities from investment companies using their high MAU ratio as a powerful persuasion tool.