Japan’s nail art photo app Nailbook secures $840,000 series A round funding



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

Tokyo-based Spika, a startup behind nail art photo app Nailbook, announced today that it has fundraised 100 million yen ($840,000) from B Dash Ventures and Gree Ventures. The round brings the team’s total funding to 150 million yen ($1.26 million), after a 50 million yen seed round funded from Incubate Fund and Soraseed Startups in January 2014 [1].

The company also announced last week that the Nailbook app has recently marked the 1 million download milestone without any paid promotion, which took about four years since its launch in April 2011.

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In the app, you can follow other users you like, or favorite nail design photos for future reference. You can also upload recent nail designs of your own. Some professional nail artists even do this to promote their work.

Spika CEO Isao Koda gave us a comment upon this funding:

Since our app is not yet monetized, we have been focused on user acquisition without paid promotion. So the growth of our user base has mostly relied on word-of-mouth.

Followed by achieving the major download milestone, the company is looking to acquire more official user accounts of nail art salons. They have 1,300 official accounts from these salons, aiming to have more accounts leveraging a free-of-charge membership unlike other competing services. Spika plans to soon launch a new app that will allow users to book an appointment for treatment at a nail salon, which will obviously be integrated with the Nailbook app.

While 40% of new downloads comes from outside Japan thanks to the app having English and Chinese interfaces, the retention rate of these users is not yet so high. So if the company confirms that the booking app can be successfully monetizable by driving potential customer traffic to nail art salons, they think that they will make genuine efforts to expand the Nailbook app globally.

Spika will use the funds to hire engineers and designers who are interested in developing services for female users.

Translated by Masaru Ikeda
Edited by Kurt Hanson

  1. In April 2014, Spika was spun off from Yumemi which had been initially operating Nailbook.