Japan’s DeNA buys home improvement curated media site Iemo

Iemo founder and CEO Mary Murata

This is the abridged version of our original article in Japanese.

Japanese internet company DeNA announced today that it has acquired Iemo, the Tokyo-based startup behind a curation media focused on home improvement. Acquisition details have not been disclosed but it is understood Iemo raised billions of yen (tens of millions US dollars) from DeNA.

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The service was launched back in December and raised an undisclosed amount of investment from B Dash Ventures in April. So they were acquired in less than ten months after the launch.

Modeled after US-based Houzz, Iemo allows users to create pages using interior design images from its database of photos provided by homebuilders. As the service is new there is not much data on their business. In an interview in April, they said that almost 90% of their users were females who visit the website via mobile phone, many of them housewives.

Iemo founder and CEO Mary Murata is a serial entrepreneur, previously one of the first hires by Japanese Internet giant CyberAgent. Prior to launching Iemo, she founded a startup called Control Plus in 2005 and subsequently sold its social game development business to Japanese gaming company Gumi. Upon this acquisition by DeNA, Murata joined the management board of DeNA as an operating officer.

Several months ago the company appointed search engine expert Yuji Kumagai as COO, but Yuto Suzuki, former community service developer at CyberAgent, joined to take over that position and former AllAbout.jp editor-at-large, Hisaki Tokushima, also joined the team in July.

Editor-in-chief of Iemo:  Hisaki Tokushima