Former Line CEO Morikawa securing $4 million in funding for online video business



This is a part of our coverage of B Dash Camp Fukuoka 2015.

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

C Channel, a new company led by former Line CEO Akira Morikawa, will launch today an online video-based digital fashion media called C Channel. The company will launch the service in beta version, then launch a mobile app and an English version by the end of 2015.

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Coinciding with the launch, C Channel announced that it will fundraise 500 million yen or ($4 million) from iStyle (TSE:3660, the company behind Japan’s largest cosmetics portal @Cosme), Asobisystem (Tokyo-based talent agency famous for employing J-pop idol Kyary Pamyu Pamyu), Gree, GMO Venture Partners, Nexyz (TSE:4346), B Dash Ventures, MAK Corporation (the company of Makoto Arima, Google’s former country managing director for Japan), and Rakuten (TSE:4755). The funding will be executed in late April.

C Channel is an online video-based media targeting women aged 20 to 34, focusing on offering lifestyle-related information ranging from hairstyling, food, to travel tips.


Morikawa started his carrier at Tokyo-based private broadcaster Nippon Television Network, followed by Sony and subsequently joining Hangame Japan (now known as Line) in 2003 where he produced smash-hit messaging app Line which has attracted over 500 million users worldwide. Since April 2014, he had been working as co-CEO with current Line CEO Tsuyoshi Idesawa. But Morikawa announced that he would step down from the position late last year, which had been attracting people’s attention about his next move.

C Channel will set up an office outfitted with a video production studio in Tokyo’s fashion district of Harajuku, which will be launched on 19 April.


— Added on 10 April, Friday

In a fireside chat session at B Dash Camp 2015 Spring in Fukuoka on Friday, Morikawa introduced details about the new service. According to him, C Channel has acquired 100 fashion model girls, called ‘clippers’ in the service, and they will upload a total of about 10 video clips to the service every day.

Morikawa claimed that C Channel will be something similar to MTV in the cable TV era where their content have been not always produced by the broadcaster but more focused on building their brand leveraging other content providers. Based on a partnership with Asobisystem, C Channel will use more than a few models from the former company as clippers.

From the left: C Channel founder Akira Morikawa, Asobisystem CEO Yusuke Nakagawa, twin models acting as 'clippers' Amiaya
From the left: C Channel founder Akira Morikawa, Asobisystem CEO Yusuke Nakagawa, twin models acting as ‘clippers’ Amiaya

Translated by Masaru Ikeda
Edited by Kurt Hanson
Proofread by “Tex” Pomeroy