Studio Ousia is the Tokyo-based startup known for its smartphone browser add-on Phroni. That service scans whatever website you’re browsing and augment the keywords with links to useful information resources such as Wikipedia or YouTube. The startup is currently developing a new affiliate solution for bloggers called Linkplaza, which is scheduled to launch by the end of the year. Today the startup began gathering 100 beta users who can try out the technology and give feedback.
The new service is a server-side solution instead of what they’ve been doing with Phroni on the client-side. For media publishers or bloggers, you can easily add affiliate links to texts in your post by inserting a few lines of code to your blogging application. When your reader mouses over any of the links, a menu featuring supplementary links will be pop up on screen.
In this space, we’ve seen several competitors develop similar technologies, such as Skimlinks and Viglink. Back in April, Kyodo News Agency reported that Skimlinks had raised an unknown amount of investments from NYC-based Greycroft Partners, Texas-based blog network Forum Foundry, Japanese angel investors Hiro Maeda, and Ryota Matsuzaki to expand to global markets, including Japan. This seems to indicate that the space will pick up momentum in the Japanese blogsphere soon as well.
Studio Ousia is an standout graduate from Keio University SFC’s incubation program. The company raised 70 million yen (about $864,000) from Nissay Capital back in February of last year.