Japan’s CDN startup Mist Technologies raises from Global Brain for global expansion



See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Mist Technologies, a startup that has been developing and providing a CDN (content distribution network) platform for rich media content, called MistCDN, announced earlier this week that it has fundraised an undisclosed sum from KDDI Open Innovation Fund, a startup-focused fund operated by Tokyo-based investment firm Global Brain. This round follows the startup’s previous funding of 75 million yen ($636,000) from Sirius Partners back in September 2014.

MistCDN is a content distribution network leveraging the WebRTC technology, which requires no server but enables peer-to-peer data transfer using only web browsers between users, technically similar to the concept adopted by Skype. MistCDN allows users to receive content distribution from their near users in network topology. So if you distribute rich media content, which are likely to cause a heavy load for networks, MistCDN enables smooth data traffic without using existing commercial CDN services such as Akamai, Amazon CloudFront, and Livelight.

Mist Technologies was born out of the 6th batch of KDDI Mugen Labo, the accelerator program by Japan’s second largest telco. Tokyo-based private broadcaster TV Asahi, one of the companies participating in an alliance program for the accelerator, is considering to adopt MistCDN, plus KDDI has decided to deploy it into one of their corporate clients.

Mist Technologies will use the funds to strengthen product and business development and expand to the US.

WebRTC enables a stable data distribution regardless of increasing or decreasing browsing users. Because of the unnecessity of server scale-out, it is an ideal solution for startups, especially for those who provide services requiring huge network traffic but cannot afford to invest much on relevant infrastructure. However, the WebRTC technology requires a wide range of engineering knowledge across multiple layers, so not many Japanese startups have developed a business based on it.

NTT Communications unveiled a platform for developing apps using WebRTC in 2014, called SkyWay. Other available examples leveraging the technology by Japanese startups include Sensei Note, a vertical social network platform for schoolteachers.

Mist Technologies’ CEO Shintaro Tanaka throws a pitch at KDDI Mugen Labo demo day. (Tokyo, July 2014)

Edited by Kurt Hanson