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AnyMind Group acquires Tokyo-based cross-border marketing firm Engawa

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See the original story in Japanese. AnyMind Group (previously known as AdAsia Holdings), the startup developing and offering AI-based marketing solutions in Japan and other Asian countries, announced on Friday that it will take a full stake in cross-border marketing company Engawa, a subsidiary of Japanese PR and marketing firm Sunny Side Up (TSE: 2180). The price of the acquisition is not disclosed. Upon this, Engawa’s president and CEO Takanobu Ushiyama join the board of directors of AnyMind’s Japanese subsidiary AnyMind Japan. For Anymind, this will be the seven startup acquisition. Engawa was established in 2015 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Sunny Side Up, and then secured funding form Japanese ad production company TYO (subsequently merged with other ad production company AOI Pro. back in 2017). Engawa has been consisted of the team of Tokyo Weekender, an English-language news publication founded back in 1970, and the members from Sunny Side Up. The company has been helping SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) rooted in local regions through partnership with local governments across Japan. According to Japanese company database Initial, Engawa was valued at 680 million yen (about $6 million) as of the post-series A round back in September of 2018….

From left: AnyMind Group CEO Kosuke Sogo, Engawa CEO Takanobu Ushiyama
Image credit: Masaru Ikeda

See the original story in Japanese.

AnyMind Group (previously known as AdAsia Holdings), the startup developing and offering AI-based marketing solutions in Japan and other Asian countries, announced on Friday that it will take a full stake in cross-border marketing company Engawa, a subsidiary of Japanese PR and marketing firm Sunny Side Up (TSE: 2180). The price of the acquisition is not disclosed. Upon this, Engawa’s president and CEO Takanobu Ushiyama join the board of directors of AnyMind’s Japanese subsidiary AnyMind Japan. For Anymind, this will be the seven startup acquisition.

Engawa was established in 2015 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Sunny Side Up, and then secured funding form Japanese ad production company TYO (subsequently merged with other ad production company AOI Pro. back in 2017). Engawa has been consisted of the team of Tokyo Weekender, an English-language news publication founded back in 1970, and the members from Sunny Side Up. The company has been helping SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) rooted in local regions through partnership with local governments across Japan. According to Japanese company database Initial, Engawa was valued at 680 million yen (about $6 million) as of the post-series A round back in September of 2018.

In August 2019, AnyMind established a joint venture and Asia-focused influencer marketing agency called AnyUp with Sunny Side Up’s subsidiary Sunny Side Partners. AnyMind says potential synergies in business and human resources encouraged them to acquire Engawa. For the time being, it is expected that the acquisition will help AnyMind better reach their solutions to Engawa’s more than 700 clients such as small manufacturers and local producers across the country.

In an interview with Bridge, Engawa’s Ushiyama says,

When we think about how to maximize the potential for business growth in cross-border marketing, we believe that AnyMind is an ideal partner because of its huge digital assets. Since the further growth of Engawa is beneficial to our former parent company Sunny Side Up, the acquisition talks went went smoothly.

Kosuke Sogo, CEO of AnyMind, added,

AnyMind has a growing client base among large enterprises, but we have not yet been able to reach out to local governments and manufacturers in Japan where you will typically need a long-term and face-to-face-based sales effort. Engawa has many clients from small manufacturers and local producers across the country, which is extremely attractive for us.

In the field of influencer marketing, both AnyMind and Engawa have their own influencer network in Southeast Asia and China, respectively, and will be able to operate them in an integrated manner and add them to each other’s client proposal menus. AnyMind Japan, the Japanese subsidiary of AnyMind, has more than 100 employees, and Ushiyama’s addition to AnyMind Japan’s board of two managing directors (CEO Sogo plus Junki Kitajima, CEO of Grove, whose company was acquired by AnyMind earlier last year) is expected to strengthen the management structure.

Last year, AnyMind launched its out-of-home (OOH) ad business by rolling out digital signage across Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport, which will be the first milestone to build a network of digital signage in regional airports across the country. In view of helping strengthen the promotion and marketing solutions for local companies through Engawa, the expansion of this digital signage ad network all across regional airports in Japan will be also a tail wind for both companies.

AdAsia Holdings raises $12M from Jafco to expand ad and marketing platform into Japan, Korea

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See the original story in Japanese. AdAsia Holdings, offering video ad network and influencer marketing platform based in Southeast Asia, announced on Wednesday that it had raised $12 million from JAFCO Asia in its series A round. AdAsia Holdings was founded in April 2016 by Kosuke Sogo and Otohiko Koizumi. Prior to the startup, Sogo was successively appointed to CEO of MicroAd’s local subsidiaries in Southeast Asian countries while Kozutsumi was involved in the overseas business development of Japanese ad network startup Nobot (which was purchased by Mediba, an affiliate of KDDI in 2011) and an experienced COO of the Vietnamese local subsidiary of MicroAd. This announcement means that the firm succeeded in large-scale funding within one year after its foundation. AdAsia Holdings has been providing various ad services based on Southeast Asia: AdAsia Digital Platform having programmatic buying (data-driven automated ad inventory buying) and report management function, AdAsia Ad Network binding up local media in Southeast Asia, CastAsia acting as a matching platform for advertisers and influencers, as well as an online media site named Moments undertaking video production or showcasing past products. See also: AdAsia unveils ad network and management tool, enables programmatic buying for Asia Japanese AdTech experts to…

The core members of the AdAsia Holdings team

See the original story in Japanese.

AdAsia Holdings, offering video ad network and influencer marketing platform based in Southeast Asia, announced on Wednesday that it had raised $12 million from JAFCO Asia in its series A round.

AdAsia Holdings was founded in April 2016 by Kosuke Sogo and Otohiko Koizumi. Prior to the startup, Sogo was successively appointed to CEO of MicroAd’s local subsidiaries in Southeast Asian countries while Kozutsumi was involved in the overseas business development of Japanese ad network startup Nobot (which was purchased by Mediba, an affiliate of KDDI in 2011) and an experienced COO of the Vietnamese local subsidiary of MicroAd. This announcement means that the firm succeeded in large-scale funding within one year after its foundation.

AdAsia Holdings’ service menu (Click to enlarge)
Image credit: AdAsia Holdings

AdAsia Holdings has been providing various ad services based on Southeast Asia: AdAsia Digital Platform having programmatic buying (data-driven automated ad inventory buying) and report management function, AdAsia Ad Network binding up local media in Southeast Asia, CastAsia acting as a matching platform for advertisers and influencers, as well as an online media site named Moments undertaking video production or showcasing past products.

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Launched in Singapore and Bangkok, the firm currently has developed its business into seven cities in Southeast Asian countries, namely Jakarta, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Taipei and Phnom Penh, serving major online media or clients in each city. The number of total staffers is 80 and the half of these engaged in system development or creative work at the Bangkok subsidiary. In the future, the firm plans to shift the center of the system development to Vietnam where many highly skilled engineers live.

Sogo explains the reason for fundraising this time:

There was no urgent need for funding, since we achieved a primary surplus in the first year. But considering listing in the future, we have to procure capital from external sources sooner or later. Feeling ready to go upscale with the business, we decided to receive an injection of funds from JAFCO at this time.

AdAsia Holdings’ Bangkok office
Image credit: AdAsia Holdings

With this funding, the firm revealed that it is going to develop its business into East Asia from Southeast Asia. Concretely, the targeted region will probably encompass Japan and Korea. It was a blank area in the Southeast Asian market regarding the business field AdAsia Holdings deal with. As seeking the next market, Sogo noticed that the East Asian market is also undeveloped although appearing at first glance to have players gradually on the increase.

However, it is not difficult to imagine that AdAsia will compete with other video ad network pioneering in this field such as AppVador, Lodeo, Open8 or App-CM. Tokyo-based Withfluence, which recently announced a business tie-up with the leading Thai telecommunication company True, also can be called a competitor in terms of being an influencer marketing platform focusing on Asia. This tendency clearly shows the increase in market awareness and demand.

In the future, AdAsia Holdings plans to introduce a budget optimization or an auto-operation method utilizing AI (artificial intelligence) into entire platforms, and to maximize the ROI (return on investment) performance of planning for advertising publication or buying.

As Sogo mentioning the listing of its stock in the future, the team enhancement is progressing steadily. He implied that some of the big names or aces in the Japanese advertising industry have joined the team, but could not say who at this time due to various reasons. I will try interviewing again as occasion serves.

Translated by Taijiro Takeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy

AdAsia unveils ad network and management tool, enables programmatic buying for Asia

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See the original story in Japanese. AdTech startup AdAsia Holdings (hereafter AdAsia), established in Singapore on April 7, has unveiled its service content. AdAsia has commenced provision of AdAsia Digital Platform capable of programmatic buying (auto-purchasing of advertisement frames based on data) and integrated report management system as well as AdAsia Ad Network which is an ad-network aggregating local media in the Southeast Asian region. With programmatic buying, finely detailed configuration of target audience for advertisement can be simplified by minimizing labor in the form of human operation as much as possible through linkage with the companies’ own websites, CRM (customer relationship management) or customer loyalty programs. Advertisers do not have to pay advertisement fees arising from visitors who are out of their target or who visits the websites accidentally. While every ad network such as Google or Facebook requires configuration of distribution conditions, target of advertisement or confirmation of performance reports, AdAsia Digital Platform automates these works in part. By providing services over the AdAsia Digital Platform which has such functions, the firm aims to differentiate AdAsia Ad Network from other conventional ad networks in terms of operational convenience. AdAsia Digital Platform has realized uniform management of performances over…

adasia-digital-platform_featuredimage

See the original story in Japanese.

AdTech startup AdAsia Holdings (hereafter AdAsia), established in Singapore on April 7, has unveiled its service content. AdAsia has commenced provision of AdAsia Digital Platform capable of programmatic buying (auto-purchasing of advertisement frames based on data) and integrated report management system as well as AdAsia Ad Network which is an ad-network aggregating local media in the Southeast Asian region.

With programmatic buying, finely detailed configuration of target audience for advertisement can be simplified by minimizing labor in the form of human operation as much as possible through linkage with the companies’ own websites, CRM (customer relationship management) or customer loyalty programs. Advertisers do not have to pay advertisement fees arising from visitors who are out of their target or who visits the websites accidentally.

While every ad network such as Google or Facebook requires configuration of distribution conditions, target of advertisement or confirmation of performance reports, AdAsia Digital Platform automates these works in part. By providing services over the AdAsia Digital Platform which has such functions, the firm aims to differentiate AdAsia Ad Network from other conventional ad networks in terms of operational convenience.

AdAsia Digital Platform has realized uniform management of performances over any ad network in addition to AdAsia Ad Network. In the future, a video ad network targeting smart TV viewers will be supported, which is currently in development by the firm.

As of launch date, AdAsia Digital Platform had already been scheduled for implementation in 30 companies including US automakers or major Japanese confectionery makers, and the firm plans to achieve sales of $10 million within 2016.

Translated by Taijiro Takeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy

adasia-digital-platform-diagram

Japanese AdTech experts to launch video ad network targeting smart TV viewers in Asia

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See the original story in Japanese. Singapore-based AdAsia Holdings announced today that it has commenced development of advertising solutions targeting Smart TV viewers in Asia. The company says that it will distribute video ads to internet Smart TV viewers subscribed to terrestrial and satellite TV channels in the region. The new company was founded by two Japanese serial entrepreneurs: Kosuke Sogo and Otohiko Kozutsumi. Sogo had been previously serving Southeast Asian subsidiaries of Japanese leading ad network operator MicroAd as CEO. Kozutsumi also served the Vietnamese subsidiary of MicroAd as COO following involvement in the global business expansion efforts of Nobot, a mobile-focused ad network acquired in 2011 by KDDI group company Mediba. See also: Japan’s KDDI To Take Over Mobile Ad Start-up Nobot For 1.5 Billion Yen (Tech in Asia) Both men have been engaged in the Adtech business in Southeast Asia for many years. Given the expanding growth for gross domestic product and ad market in the region, they have found huge opportunities in the Smart TV ad industry where there is still few companies capable of running productive marketing campaigns. Similar to Japan, advertising slots on Asian terrestrial and satellite TV channels are mostly controlled by existing…

kosuke-sogo-otohiko-kozutsumi
From the left: AdAsia Holdings CEO Kosuke Sogo, COO Otohiko Kozutsumi

See the original story in Japanese.

Singapore-based AdAsia Holdings announced today that it has commenced development of advertising solutions targeting Smart TV viewers in Asia. The company says that it will distribute video ads to internet Smart TV viewers subscribed to terrestrial and satellite TV channels in the region.

The new company was founded by two Japanese serial entrepreneurs: Kosuke Sogo and Otohiko Kozutsumi. Sogo had been previously serving Southeast Asian subsidiaries of Japanese leading ad network operator MicroAd as CEO. Kozutsumi also served the Vietnamese subsidiary of MicroAd as COO following involvement in the global business expansion efforts of Nobot, a mobile-focused ad network acquired in 2011 by KDDI group company Mediba.

See also:

Both men have been engaged in the Adtech business in Southeast Asia for many years. Given the expanding growth for gross domestic product and ad market in the region, they have found huge opportunities in the Smart TV ad industry where there is still few companies capable of running productive marketing campaigns. Similar to Japan, advertising slots on Asian terrestrial and satellite TV channels are mostly controlled by existing ad agents and local TV operators. However, it can be said that the video ads field for Smart TVs are an exception.

In Japan, Hakuhodo DY Media Partners and some other companies have been distributing video ad services for Smart TVs such as Toshiba Regza, Sharp Aquos and Panasonic Viera. But these services have not yet been offered in many parts of the world. Meanwhile, over 200 TV channels are being offered in Korea, Taiwan, China and other Asian countries. The more TV channels on offer, the more the ad inventory and opportunity available… thus the team foresees a huge business opportunity as more viewers in these countries switch to Smart TVs.

Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy

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