Tokyo-based PrimeAgain, the startup best known for ephemeral video sharing app Winker and photo collage app DecoAlbum, announced on June 11 (Wednesday) that it has fundraised about 100 million yen or US$809,000 from East Ventures, Japanese ad network company i-Mobile and Gumi Ventures, in addition to unnamed angel investors. They will use the new capital mostly to extend their app development resources. This company had been based at East Venture’s co-working space in Roppongi for several years since launch in Waseda, Tokyo, but it was also announced that its own office in Shibuya was opened due to increase in employees.
According to PrimeAgain co-founder and CEO Nobuhiro Abe, about 800 million photos are uploaded to Snapchat everyday, twice as many as that of Facebook, acquiring about 400 million photos on a daily basis (statistics vary according to sources). Since the user base of the Snapchat app is primarily located in North America because of user’s preference about the app’s interface, he believes that there’s an opportunity for an ephemeral video and photo sharing app that is tailored for Japan and other Asian countries.
Since the launch of the Winker app last year, we have made a tremendous number of improvements, repeating efforts such as collecting user feedback, rolling out new functions and approaching many clubs at universities to expand a user base. While ephemeral sharing is still booking in North America, I think that it has not yet arrived in Japan.
Seeing the trend of sharing apps like Snapchat and Path Talk, I believe that social network platforms will become more natural, people enjoying more casual interactions, resulting in being used more actively. Going forward, we also want to optimize the app for smart watches.
In a month from now, the company plans to roll out a new interface and design in the Winker app so that it will be tailored to the preference of users in Asia.
Our readers may recall that Korea’s internet giant Daum Kakao recently acquired the Path messaging app in order to obtain a huge user base in Indonesia. Despite the fact that Facebook has become an infrastructure for people to share daily updates, there are still many opportunities in the space for new ways of communication.
Also, in the space of smart watches where people have operational constraints in inputting characters, another ecosystem of social network platforms will be formed in the future, represented by Nain.
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy