Japan’s Spectee, news video aggregator for press, ready for North America expansion


This is a guest post authored by “Tex” Pomeroy. He is a Tokyo-based writer specializing in ICT and high technology.

Spectee CEO Kenjiro Murakami introduces his service at a recent OrangeFab Asia meet-up.
Image credit: “Tex” Pomeroy

Spectee, at an OrangeFab meetup in Tokyo outlining the program in Asia, noted that from September it will start expanding its presence abroad — most likely in the U.S. which has been the amateur-based newsfeed firm’s largest market. Founder & CEO Kenjiro Murakami worked at a Silicon Valley major prior to starting up Spectee, under a different name.

The Tokyo firm is a second batch (the first which covered Japan, Korea and Taiwan) graduate of the accelerator run by the European telecom concern Orange. Spectee will showcase its service at an Austin, Texas confab next month to mark the launch of its active foray into North America. Many competing services are headquartered on this continent.

The Japanese startup not only handles copyright management issues for the image data but applies Artificial Intelligence (AI) upon finding and matching the requisite data. It was underscored that by 2020 the Internet will be some 44 ZB (zettabytes) of information floating out on cyberspace, beyond the capacity of a normal human brain alone to thresh through.

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Spectee is currently working with Associated Press (AP) among other press organizations to disseminate its visual newsfeed network. Its system is also armed with multiple patents, which is rare for a startup with less than ten years of history, to be applied in expanding into new areas beyond the news field.

In addition to the Spectee talk, OrangeFab outlined its past efforts and announced it was ready to accept applications for the next program term from entrepreneurs. Creww also provided a spiel about the venue it runs (dubbed “docks”), which is a mid-Tokyo open innovation incubation and coworking space near Tokyo Tower, being used for the event series.

Earlier last month, Uzabase — offering the NewsPicks service and tied up with Dow Jones in the U.S. — announced its intention to buy digital-only business news service Quartz from Atlantic Media. Assuming the approximately month-long U.S. government approval goes smoothly, the Tokyo company can expect to be the new Quartz provider.