Japan’s Somewrite raises $1.1M from Gree and others, scaling up native advertising platform



See the original story in Japanese.

Japanese “owned media” marketing company Somewrite fundraised 120 million yen (about $1.1 million) from Gree Ventures and other undisclosed investors.

In May of 2013, Somewrite won the fifth batch of Incubate Camp, an intensive two-day business development program for entrepreneurs organized by Japan’s Incubate Fund. In July of 2014, the company announced a set of comprehensive “owned media” marketing services called Somewrite Networks, which provides content marketing, owned media distribution, and native advertising platform services.

Somewrite Ad, the company’s native advertising network platform, picks up advertorial articles from owned media sites and distributes them to other partnering news media sites as a native ad so that these articles match the form with other regular articles in which they are placed. The platform has a tracking engine which learns the preference of users in real time.

In a response to our request for comment upon this funding, Somewrite’s CEO Yasunari Shibata said:

Because our Somewrite Ad service has been seeing good growth, we’ll be more focused on the ad network business. We’ve been running this on a test basis to date, but we’ll be shifting to a full-scale service from the middle of this month.

They will use the funds to fulfill their management base as well as to strengthen system development and marketing expansion, in addition to hiring more people.