Japanese startup Bluem, which operates the on-demand cinema service Dreampass, announced today that it has been acquired by Yahoo Japan (TYO:4689) for an undisclosed sum. Dreampass will be working with Yahoo Eiga (or “Yahoo Movies”) and video streaming service Gyao, which is also run by Yahoo Japan.
For those of you who might not be familiar with the service, Dreampass first launched all the way back in August of 2010. It sort of works like Groupon but is dedicated to the screening of older movies in theaters. Users are able to request a screening of their favorite movies, and by popular vote, Dreampass will negotiate with content holders to allow such a screening. If the screening is permitted, tickets will be made available on the Dreampass website for users to purchase.
A wide variety of movies are requested, ranging from Hollywood classics to Japanese animations and even recorded sports events. For example, there are tickets on sale to watch The Dark Knight at a theater in Shinjuku for 1,500 yen (about $15).
Dreampass was chosen as a representative startup for Japan at Startup Weekend 2011, an event held across 50 different countries. The team is a graduate of Open Network Lab in Ebisu, Tokyo, and consists of six core members who will soon be working for Yahoo Japan.
In the past few years, we’re seeing a startup eco-system gradually taking shape here in Japan. Last year, there were a few startups acquired by local internet giants and a few smaller buyouts as well. I plan to present a round-up of these acquisition in the near future, so stay tuned!