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Japan’s Wovn announces Dropbox-like online storage for document translation

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Tokyo-based Wovn Technologies, the Japanese startup offering a multilingual support platform for websites and other digital resources, announced today that they will launch a new service called Wovn Workbox at their business conference held in Tokyo today. Similar to Dropbox, Box, and other cloud-based storage services, Wovn Workbox allows you to share documents but also translate them into other languages automatically so that your colleagues can understand your document written in their unfamiliar language. When an original file is revised, that change will be made to its translation result immediately. Planned to be launched in August, the cloud service can support several file formats: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Text files (PDF file support follows later). The software for synchronizing files in a user’s local storage with the cloud will be available on Mac OS X 10.10 and its later as well as Windows 10 and its later. Pricing details have not been published yet but it appears to be charged on a monthly subscription basis. Translation results will be reviewed by artificial intelligence and then checked by native speakers. Wovn expects the new service to be adopted by companies where multinational talents are using cloud services on a daily basis….

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Globalized 2019
Image credit: Wovn Technologies

Tokyo-based Wovn Technologies, the Japanese startup offering a multilingual support platform for websites and other digital resources, announced today that they will launch a new service called Wovn Workbox at their business conference held in Tokyo today.

Similar to Dropbox, Box, and other cloud-based storage services, Wovn Workbox allows you to share documents but also translate them into other languages automatically so that your colleagues can understand your document written in their unfamiliar language. When an original file is revised, that change will be made to its translation result immediately.

Planned to be launched in August, the cloud service can support several file formats: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Text files (PDF file support follows later). The software for synchronizing files in a user’s local storage with the cloud will be available on Mac OS X 10.10 and its later as well as Windows 10 and its later. Pricing details have not been published yet but it appears to be charged on a monthly subscription basis. Translation results will be reviewed by artificial intelligence and then checked by native speakers.

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Image credit: Wovn Technologies

Wovn expects the new service to be adopted by companies where multinational talents are using cloud services on a daily basis. By allowing them to translate their documents and decks into many languages and keep results update, Wovn wants to eliminate language barriers among diverse employees. In Japan, the decline of workforce and the rise of international businesses may cause definitely increasing the number of immigrant workers in offices. With the new service, Wovn wants to help internationalization efforts of companies in their internal operations as well as their marketing activities to potential customers.

Wovn has partnered with SBI Group and integrated with the latter’s electronic approval workflow system so that SBI employees can communicate each other regardless of which language they speak. Wovn is also expected to integrate their platform with third-party’s various cloud-based services in addition to Workbox-like online storage services. 

WOVN unveils iOS SDK, helps developers support multilingual features in mobile apps

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See the original story in Japanese. Tokyo-based Wovn Technologies launched last week the beta version of Wovn.app, an SDK (software developer kit) that allows mobile developers to easily multilingulize their apps. At present it is only available for iOS apps (Swift and Object-C), and the SDK for Android will be offered at a later date. In the future, the company will also consider the possibility of releasing SDKs for other app development frameworks such as Unity. Until now the company has been providing Wovn.io for website multilingulization. At the end of last year the company began offering standard functions for free and changed directions with Wovn.io Prime which aims to meet the demands of major companies by offering improved functions for enterprises. In the spring of this year the company also changed its name from Minimal Technologies to Wovn Technologies. This all appears to be a part of the trend for the multilingualization of mobile apps, in addition to websites. In particular, with companies that provide both web and mobile apps in multiple languages, it is difficult to manage the accuracy of both translations along with the terminology use, and it took a considerable number of steps. With Wovn.app, users…

See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Wovn Technologies launched last week the beta version of Wovn.app, an SDK (software developer kit) that allows mobile developers to easily multilingulize their apps. At present it is only available for iOS apps (Swift and Object-C), and the SDK for Android will be offered at a later date. In the future, the company will also consider the possibility of releasing SDKs for other app development frameworks such as Unity.

Until now the company has been providing Wovn.io for website multilingulization. At the end of last year the company began offering standard functions for free and changed directions with Wovn.io Prime which aims to meet the demands of major companies by offering improved functions for enterprises. In the spring of this year the company also changed its name from Minimal Technologies to Wovn Technologies. This all appears to be a part of the trend for the multilingualization of mobile apps, in addition to websites.

In particular, with companies that provide both web and mobile apps in multiple languages, it is difficult to manage the accuracy of both translations along with the terminology use, and it took a considerable number of steps. With Wovn.app, users can manage the translation part of the web and mobile apps centrally on the dashboard. Additionally, because translation correction and replacement can all be done on the dashboard there would be no need to recompile the app and apply to the App Store each time.

Wovn.app is primarily offered for enterprise users using Wovn.io Prime, and the fee for single usage is undecided. It is negotiable for startups that wish to use the Wovn.app if a fixed cooperative relationship is established.

Also, Wovn recently started a service that collectively accepts translations on a fixed monthly budget. This means that with the multilingualization of websites and mobile apps where budgets are hard to fix, the user sets the budget beforehand and in accordance with this optimizes the quantity of the translations and the balance of human translation/machine translation. As the cost becomes constant, it is easier for the user to make internal inquiries and settlements, and in particular, it is easier to adopt it in a public organization.

Competitors in the same field around the world include One Sky in Hong Kong, Get Localization in Finland, and Transifex in Silicon Valley.

Translated by Amanda Imasaka
Edited by Masaru Ikeda

Japan’s WOVN, multilingual support platform for websites, secures $2.6M series B funding

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See the original story in Japanese. Minimal Technologies, which provides a multilingual support platform for websites called WOVN.io, announced earlier this month that it has fundraised 300 million yen (about $2.6 million US) in a series B round. This round was led by SBI Investment with participation from Toppan Printing (TSE:7911), SMBC Venture Capital, and Adways (TSE:2489) also participating. For Minimal, this follows their previous $1.1 million funding back in September of 2015, and then the total amount of funds published has come to 430 million yen (about $3.7 million US) with the latest funding round. Wovn launched a minimum viable product (MVP) in 2014 and by inserting just one line of Javascript into the website it is possible to see the multilingualization up to 27 languages. Wovn itself is not a translation service, but it can work with machine and human translation services, and dramatically streamline the multilingualization of websites only supporting one language. As of November 2016, Wovn has provided multilingual support for a total of about 830,000 pages on 8,000 website domains, with typical clients including travel giant HIS (TSE: 9603) and the Shibuya Bunka Project, Shibuya 109, WEGO, and so on. Even though the number of…

See the original story in Japanese.

Minimal Technologies, which provides a multilingual support platform for websites called WOVN.io, announced earlier this month that it has fundraised 300 million yen (about $2.6 million US) in a series B round. This round was led by SBI Investment with participation from Toppan Printing (TSE:7911), SMBC Venture Capital, and Adways (TSE:2489) also participating. For Minimal, this follows their previous $1.1 million funding back in September of 2015, and then the total amount of funds published has come to 430 million yen (about $3.7 million US) with the latest funding round.

Wovn launched a minimum viable product (MVP) in 2014 and by inserting just one line of Javascript into the website it is possible to see the multilingualization up to 27 languages. Wovn itself is not a translation service, but it can work with machine and human translation services, and dramatically streamline the multilingualization of websites only supporting one language. As of November 2016, Wovn has provided multilingual support for a total of about 830,000 pages on 8,000 website domains, with typical clients including travel giant HIS (TSE: 9603) and the Shibuya Bunka Project, Shibuya 109, WEGO, and so on.

Even though the number of websites with English pages has increased in Japan, and even when the corporate site is in English, the majority of cases have yet to put out a service site that regularly updates information. To do this is costly and time-consuming.

Minimal Technologies CEO Takaharu Hayashi explained:

Initially we started with casual users, like Tumbler’s users, as the personas for our service, but once we opened for business about 40% of the inquiries we received were from production companies.

According to convention, usually client companies place an order for the multilingualization of their website with a production company and have them implement it over time. With Wovn, in addition to multilingual support, we also provide the means to smoothly update information in multiple languages.

Since client companies often have their own production company, we’d like to incorporate such production companies as users. We’d like to make Wovn an indispensable tool for for production companies like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

Founders of Minimal Technologies: CEO Takaharu Hayashi (left), software engineer Jeff Sandford (right)

In connection with this funding, the following is information about Minimal’s business partnerships with SBI Investment, Toppan Printing, and Adways.

It is assumed that SBI Investment will promote the use of Wovn in the area of regional revitalization as they have cooperations with local banks seeking to strengthen their mid-term management plan.

Toppan Printing offers an offline media multilingualization service that provides translation services for small businesses and municipalities. In partnering with Wovn they seek to create a seamless service by combining this with the support of multilingualization of online media.

Adways seems to be planning a change in their Leyifan overseas delivery service where they act as the agents to a service where the customer is in charge of the transfer by utilizing Wovn’s multilingual support for websites, and by extension a user’s IP address to differentiate them, with customers who access e-commerce sites while abroad in mind.

With the funds raised this round Minimal will strengthen Enterprise UX (automatic e-mail reply function, OEM function, layout editing function), for their marketing support feature (A/B test function, analysis function, search engine optimization or SEO), and in expanding additional areas (multi-currency payment processing, global delivery, multilingual customer support), and so on.

Hayashi says,

In all honesty, until now, we’ve expanded on a client to client basis.

They have strengthened their service for companies that use Wovn to make their websites multilingual without going through a production company, and in order to automate the sales process they plan to increase Wovn’s tutorial contents.

In correlation with the funding, Minimal is seeking expert engineers to assist in the enhancement of the aforementioned functions. With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and the possibility of the 2025 World Expo in Osaka, it is my expectation that Wovn will provide a great service in the multilingualization of web services in Japan.

Translated by Amanda Imasaka
Edited by Masaru Ikeda

The WOVN.io team
Image credit: Minimal Technologies

Japan’s WOVN.io, multilingual support platform for websites, secures $1.1 million funding

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See the original story in Japanese. WOVN.io instantly turns a website into a multilingual environment just by adding a single Javascript code to a website source. Tokyo-based Minimal Technologies, the company behind the service, announced in July that it has partnered with Recruit Communications, and it also told The Bridge that the service has been adopted into more than 4,500 websites in the US, Japan, Brazil, Spain, and other countries. The company announced today that it has fundraised 130 million yen ($1.1 million) from Opt Ventures and Nissay Capital. Opt Ventures is the investment arm of Japan’s largest online ad agency Opt (TSE:2389) while Nissay Capital is that of Japan’s leading insurance company Nissay, or Nippon Life Insurance Company (TSE:6271). In a previous interview, the company said WOVN.io earns 90% of its revenue stream from their enterprise plan users. They plan to use the latest funds to strengthen their position as a marketing tool to help businesses expand globally. WOVN++, the SEO-enabled library launched in late July in beta, is also part of the strategy. Thanks to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics effect, there are now more websites available in English. I expect that WOVN.io will accelerate this trend and help…

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See the original story in Japanese.

WOVN.io instantly turns a website into a multilingual environment just by adding a single Javascript code to a website source. Tokyo-based Minimal Technologies, the company behind the service, announced in July that it has partnered with Recruit Communications, and it also told The Bridge that the service has been adopted into more than 4,500 websites in the US, Japan, Brazil, Spain, and other countries.

The company announced today that it has fundraised 130 million yen ($1.1 million) from Opt Ventures and Nissay Capital. Opt Ventures is the investment arm of Japan’s largest online ad agency Opt (TSE:2389) while Nissay Capital is that of Japan’s leading insurance company Nissay, or Nippon Life Insurance Company (TSE:6271).

In a previous interview, the company said WOVN.io earns 90% of its revenue stream from their enterprise plan users. They plan to use the latest funds to strengthen their position as a marketing tool to help businesses expand globally. WOVN++, the SEO-enabled library launched in late July in beta, is also part of the strategy.

Thanks to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics effect, there are now more websites available in English. I expect that WOVN.io will accelerate this trend and help make more content from Japan available to the global audience.

Translated by Masaru Ikeda
Edited by Kurt Hanson

Japan’s WOVN.io helps websites improve search engine visibility in any language

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See the original story in Japanese. WOVN.io instantly turns a website into a multilingual environment only by adding a single Javascript code to the website source. They started providing a premium edition in February, followed by participating in the pitch competition at Echelon in Singapore this July as the only team from Japan. We were told that the service has been adopted into more than 4,500 websites in the U.S., Japan, Brazil, Spain and other countries. Tokyo-based Minimal Technologies, the Japanese startup behind WOVN.io, recently made two announcements: partnering with Recruit Communications, a marketing-focused subsidiary under Japan’s Recruit Holdings (TSE:6098), and launching SEO-enabled library WOVN++ in beta. Based on a partnership with Recruit Communications, WOVN.io will be implemented into various media websites provided by Recruit Holdings group companies. Coinciding with leveraging the company’s in-house online dictionary, the solution will be used to translate 12 websites into several languages, starting with English, Chinese and Korean, in 2015 Q3. In our previous articles covering WOVN.io, we have heard many voices from users concerned about how the solution will have an impact on SEO results. To address this issue, the company introduced a library called WOVN++ in Ruby and PHP, which creates a static HTML source code rather than dynamically generating a translated webpage so…

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See the original story in Japanese.

WOVN.io instantly turns a website into a multilingual environment only by adding a single Javascript code to the website source. They started providing a premium edition in February, followed by participating in the pitch competition at Echelon in Singapore this July as the only team from Japan. We were told that the service has been adopted into more than 4,500 websites in the U.S., Japan, Brazil, Spain and other countries.

Tokyo-based Minimal Technologies, the Japanese startup behind WOVN.io, recently made two announcements: partnering with Recruit Communications, a marketing-focused subsidiary under Japan’s Recruit Holdings (TSE:6098), and launching SEO-enabled library WOVN++ in beta.

Based on a partnership with Recruit Communications, WOVN.io will be implemented into various media websites provided by Recruit Holdings group companies. Coinciding with leveraging the company’s in-house online dictionary, the solution will be used to translate 12 websites into several languages, starting with English, Chinese and Korean, in 2015 Q3.

In our previous articles covering WOVN.io, we have heard many voices from users concerned about how the solution will have an impact on SEO results. To address this issue, the company introduced a library called WOVN++ in Ruby and PHP, which creates a static HTML source code rather than dynamically generating a translated webpage so that translated pages are also scanned for search engine results.

Minimal Technologies CEO Takaharu Hayashi said that typical Japanese companies are less likely to forget SEO measures when establishing a media site or an e-commerce site which targets overseas markets.

Hayashi explained:

Even Google does not have much market share in China or Korea as well as in Japan; China is dominated by Baidu and Korea by Naver, where different SEO measures may be required respectively. WOVN++ can work well with these different local search engines, driving user traffic from many other countries. We will focus on optimizing our solution to more search engines in the Southeast Asian region.

One can use the WOVN++ library in beta regardless of which service plan subscribed to. Going forward, the company wants to support an additional feature allowing users to display their website in the upper level of search results.

WOVN.io earns 90% of its entire revenue stream from their enterprise plan users. Currently payable in Japanese yen, however, the company recently registered a branch office in California to enable accepting payments in US dollars; they can now improve the new feature to better serve users in Japan and the rest of the world.

Translated by Taijiro Takeda
Edited by Masaru Ikeda and “Tex” Pomeroy

e27 holds Japan Qualifiers for Echelon 2015 Top 100 startup competition in Tokyo

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See the original story in Japanese. Asia’s regional startup news media e27 will hold its annual conference Echelon 2015 this June in Singapore. Towards a startup competition at the conference, the media company held Echelon Top 100 Japan Qualifiers at NTT Docomo Ventures in Tokyo on Tuesday to choose delegates from Japan. Wovn.io won the Judge’s Choice award while the People’s Choice award was given to SynchroLife. Wovn.io allows website owners to translate their websites into multiple languages simply by adding a one-line JavaScript code to their HTML files. Since launch in June 2014, they have translated more than 120,000 pages. Website owners can choose from two types of translation – machine translation using Google Translate and human-powered crowdsourced translation using Gengo. See also: Japan’s WOVN.io unveils premium plans, offers multilingual support for enterprise websites SynchroLife is a mobile app for foodies, allowing users to follow other like-minded foodies or patronized restaurants by continuously making check-ins and ranks for restaurants visited. It is now available in Japanese for use in Japan, but the team is working on a multilingual version for expansion in the Asian region where locals are likely to post food photos and be eager to find good restaurants in the neighborhood. In addition to Japan, e27 is hosting local Echelon qualifiers events in Australia, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India,…

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See the original story in Japanese.

Asia’s regional startup news media e27 will hold its annual conference Echelon 2015 this June in Singapore. Towards a startup competition at the conference, the media company held Echelon Top 100 Japan Qualifiers at NTT Docomo Ventures in Tokyo on Tuesday to choose delegates from Japan. Wovn.io won the Judge’s Choice award while the People’s Choice award was given to SynchroLife.

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Wovn.io co-founder Jeff Sandford (left) receives the Judge’s Choice award from Global Brain partner Nobutake Suzuki

Wovn.io allows website owners to translate their websites into multiple languages simply by adding a one-line JavaScript code to their HTML files. Since launch in June 2014, they have translated more than 120,000 pages. Website owners can choose from two types of translation – machine translation using Google Translate and human-powered crowdsourced translation using Gengo.

See also:

SynchroLife is a mobile app for foodies, allowing users to follow other like-minded foodies or patronized restaurants by continuously making check-ins and ranks for restaurants visited. It is now available in Japanese for use in Japan, but the team is working on a multilingual version for expansion in the Asian region where locals are likely to post food photos and be eager to find good restaurants in the neighborhood.

echelon2015-japan-qualifiers-audience

In addition to Japan, e27 is hosting local Echelon qualifiers events in Australia, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. Echelon Asia Summit 2015, the main event with the competition finals, is scheduled to take place in Singapore on 23rd and 24th June, where delegates from every participant country will come together and compete with each others to win the top honor.

Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy

Bowel movement notifier D Free wins Tokyo pitch event, moves on to Pioneers Festival in Vienna

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See the original story in Japanese. Pioneers Festival is a startup conference held annually in Vienna, Austria. The festival started in 2011, and the fifth edition will be held 28-29 May. A qualifier was held in Tokyo last weekend to select the Japanese delegation for the conference, where D Free, the team developing a bowel movement tracking device under the same name, won the top award. Let’s have a quick rundown on startups that had good results in the competition. Judges for the competition were: Nikola Pavesic, CEO of Justa.io Vickie Paradise Green, Founder of Paradigm / Chairman of the board at Run for the Cure® foundation Tadaaki Kimura, CEO of Addlight Shingo Potier de la Morandière, co-founder of Impact HUB Tokyo Tim Romero, former representative director of Engine Yard, K.K., Host of Disrupting Japan podcast Impact Hub Community Award winner: D Free D Free is a wearable device that predicts the timing of bowel movements. Using ultrasonic waves it predicts how much time a person has until the feces will stimulate the sacral bone, which triggers the urge to defecate. In this way, users will not have to rush to the bathroom as it will free them from worries…

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The D Free team wins Impact Hub Community Award.
Japan Airlines gives them complimentary mileages for covering their trip from Tokyo to Vienna.

See the original story in Japanese.

Pioneers Festival is a startup conference held annually in Vienna, Austria. The festival started in 2011, and the fifth edition will be held 28-29 May.

A qualifier was held in Tokyo last weekend to select the Japanese delegation for the conference, where D Free, the team developing a bowel movement tracking device under the same name, won the top award.

Let’s have a quick rundown on startups that had good results in the competition.

Judges for the competition were:

Impact Hub Community Award winner: D Free

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D Free is a wearable device that predicts the timing of bowel movements. Using ultrasonic waves it predicts how much time a person has until the feces will stimulate the sacral bone, which triggers the urge to defecate. In this way, users will not have to rush to the bathroom as it will free them from worries about the risk of fecal incontinence. It will help non-handicapped persons, as well as Parkinson’s disease patients, the physically challenged, and the elderly, who might be hard to make it to the bath room and forced to wear a diaper, helping them get back their human dignity.

The device’s learning feature complements individual differences and improves accuracy. They will start marketing to self operators in early 2016, followed by nursing care homes and hospitals in third quarter 2016.

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2nd place award winner: Mister Suite

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Mister Suite is an outsourcing service for small inn owners and hosts of short-term lodging facilities such as AirBnB. Instead of these hosts and owners, Mister Suite provides a variety of services such as guest relations, handing keys to guests, and room cleaning. In the year of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, while 20 million foreign visitors are expected to come to Tokyo, available hotel rooms are increasing at a pace of 1,800 rooms every year so lodging facilities for 3.7 million visitors will be lacking annually. On the other hand, the vacancy rate of residences in Tokyo is as high as 17%, so the Mister Suite team wants to these vacant rooms to be used as lodging facilities.

Their online booking system integrates with a dispatching system of room cleaners, and it will show when a room is available for a new guest after a guest leaves. The company wants to expand to small hotels, Japanese inns, hot spring inns, and other sharing economy businesses.

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3rd place award winner: Wovn.io

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Wovn.io instantly turns a website into a multilingual environment only by adding a single Javascript code to the website source. There are three billion internet users in the world, but 70% are non-English speakers. So Wovn.io helps websites reach out to these non-English speaking users.

Since its launch nine months ago, the service has translated 120,000 web pages for users. Website owners can choose from machine translation and human translation, and the former uses Google Translate while the latter relies on crowdsourced translation service Gengo. They are working on the next update that will allow users to easily integrate into major content management systems such as WordPress and Drupal.

See also:

The following startups did not win but gave interesting pitches.

Tamecco

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Tamecco is a platform that applies Amazon.com’s recommendation user experience to the face-to-face shopping scene. Using an artificial intelligence-based mobile app to collect consumer behavior data, the platform allows store owners to recommend items at storefronts and distribute rewards, such as discount coupons, to potential customers on what they like or where they are.

Tamecco targets franchises of beauty salons, massage shops, ramen restaurants, and other retail businesses. The platform has been installed at selected outlets of Yoshinoya restaurants, a standing sushi bar chain, and Re.Ra.Ku massage places. Unlike typical iBeacon-based technologies that cannot serve Android users, Tamecco perfectly captures iPhone users as well as Android users. It is easy to use so that even the elderly, who are less familiar with mobile apps, can take advantage of it.

See also:

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Jandi

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Jandi is a cloud-based communication platform for enterprise use. Slack is popular in this space, but the Jandi team claims that Slack does not always meet the demand from business in Asia as it was developed in Western countries. With offices in Tokyo, Taipei, and Seoul, the Jandi team wants to differentiate itself from other communication platforms.

In November, the company fundraised $2 million from Softbank Ventures Korea, China’s Cherubic Ventures, and Korea’s Ticket Monster CEO Hyun-sung Shin.

Paygate

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Paygate has developed a credit card payment system. Using a strategy that differentiates itself from similar payments platforms like Square or Coiney, Paygate targets the payment needs of big retail companies, which tend to require higher system reliability and security, providing devices accepting IC chip-embedded credit cards. The company provides payment SDKs (software development kits) in compliance with the PCI-DSS certification, which allows developers to easily develop apps with payments functions without applying for certification.

See also:

FlashTouch

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Typical NFC-based authentication systems or payments systems require users to have a smartphone with a higher operation system version and a mobile app for each of the systems. FlashTouch uses a mobile web browser and delivers a user’s authenticity via light flashing patterns from his or her mobile screen to a light-signal receiving device, which are typically located at storefronts so that it enables mobile payments, identification, smart key authentication, and other purposes. Based on the patent-approved technology, the company provides the solution for $20 per ID (required on every receiving device) every month.

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Odigo

pioneers-festival-tokyo-2015-odigo

Odigo is a trip planning and experience sharing platform for foreign visitors to Japan, where local photographers and authors introduce hidden attractions, destinations, and sightseeing spots. The company plans to monetize receiving budget from local governments for their tourism promotion.

Zest

pioneers-festival-tokyo-2015-zest-1

Zest has developed an auto dispatch and scheduling system for staffers in various industries, and is currently validating its usability in the building inspection industry. The service is available for one-tenth the cost of similar products, and users only have to pay $100,000 for installation and $2,000 for monthly usage. Zest plans to set up an office in Singapore to expand into the Asian market.

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Swingnow

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Swingnow is a platform that aims to streamline messaging, calendar management, and contact management. It consists of three mobile apps – Swingmail, Swingcal, and Swingbooks – all available on the iTunes AppStore in English-speaking and Nordic countries, but only Swingmail has been launched in Japan.


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A presenter doing Q&As with judges

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Pioneers Festival founder Andreas Tschas (right), Pioneers Tokyo qualifier organizer Andre Casaclang (left)

Edited by Kurt Hanson
Proofread by “Tex” Pomeroy

Japan’s WOVN.io unveils premium plans, offers multilingual support for enterprise websites

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See the original story in Japanese. Tokyo-based Minimal Technologies launched a website translating service called WOVN.io in August. It instantly turns a website into a multilingual environment only by adding a single Javascript code to the website source. Since its launch, the service has been adopted to 4,000 website and created 120,000 translated webpages. While about 100 pages were translated each day in September, it has since grown to 600 to 700 pages a day. See also: From Infinity Ventures Summit in Kyoto: 13 startups pitch at Launch Pad competition Wovn.io recently added premium plans, which allows website owners to customize embedded WOVN.io widgets and translate more than five translated pages of their website. The premium edition provides three different plans according to the number of pages requiring translation: Startup, Business, and Enterprise. The Startup type is available for a monthly charge of $19, providing translation for up to 100 pages of a website. When an original page containing a WOVN JavaScript code is updated, WOVN.io will automatically detect that and create an updated translation for website visitors. While the Startup plan limits a translated language selection to one language, upper range plans like Business and Enterprise can create webpages…

wovn_featuredimage

See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Minimal Technologies launched a website translating service called WOVN.io in August. It instantly turns a website into a multilingual environment only by adding a single Javascript code to the website source. Since its launch, the service has been adopted to 4,000 website and created 120,000 translated webpages. While about 100 pages were translated each day in September, it has since grown to 600 to 700 pages a day.

See also:

Wovn.io recently added premium plans, which allows website owners to customize embedded WOVN.io widgets and translate more than five translated pages of their website. The premium edition provides three different plans according to the number of pages requiring translation: Startup, Business, and Enterprise.

The Startup type is available for a monthly charge of $19, providing translation for up to 100 pages of a website. When an original page containing a WOVN JavaScript code is updated, WOVN.io will automatically detect that and create an updated translation for website visitors. While the Startup plan limits a translated language selection to one language, upper range plans like Business and Enterprise can create webpages in more than three languages using machine translation.

The price of the Enterprise plan is available upon request. In addition to aforementioned features, Minimal Technologies plans to add new features such as web server customization and A/B testing.

When I previously wrote about WOVN.io, several readers asked about how SEO (search engine optimization) performance for WOVN-installed websites is considered. The company has confirmed that translated pages are appropriately indexed by the Google search engine in their internal test, and will publish a library this spring so that website owners can place critical SEO measures on the translated pages of their website.

In addition to founder/CEO Takaharu Hayashi and co-founder Jeff Sandford, Minimal Technologies recently added a French engineer and a Taiwanese sales representative to the team. In view of which languages are in high demand for translating website pages using WOVN.io, Chinese is ranked top followed by Korean and Spanish. They plan to focus on developing and marketing an enterprise version for Japanese companies.

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L to R: CEO Takaharu Hayashi, co-founder Jeff Sandford

Translated by Taijiro Takeda
Edited by Masaru Ikeda and Kurt Hanson

Cloud-based invoicing startup MakeLeaps wins IE-KMD Venture Day in Tokyo

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See the original story in Japanese. Madrid’s IE Business School and the Graduate School of Media Design at Keio University (KMD) jointly held their second Venture Day event for entrepreneurs in Tokyo. This year’s event took place at Keio Mita Campus and attracted a large audience of investors, entrepreneurs, and mentors from Japan and Europe. See also: Madrid’s IE Business School and Keio University hold joint entrepreneur event in Tokyo While 10 teams from Europe, Japan, and KMD students competed in a pitch session, Tokyo-based MakeLeaps, a startup that provides a cloud-based invoicing solution, won the top prize. As we have seen familiar faces of MakeLeaps’ people at many events in the local startup scene, it would be better to call them an authority rather than a startup. However, in view of the small number of B2B startups providing SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions in Tokyo, MakeLeaps has been boldly challenging and aiming to better serve local businesses, which won over the judges. MakeLeaps fundraised $600,000 from 500 Startups and AngelList in August. MakeLeaps CEO Jason Winder said they are planning to integrate other services like customer relationship management next year. Makeleaps’ won two roundtrip tickets between Tokyo and…

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See the original story in Japanese.

Madrid’s IE Business School and the Graduate School of Media Design at Keio University (KMD) jointly held their second Venture Day event for entrepreneurs in Tokyo. This year’s event took place at Keio Mita Campus and attracted a large audience of investors, entrepreneurs, and mentors from Japan and Europe.

See also:

While 10 teams from Europe, Japan, and KMD students competed in a pitch session, Tokyo-based MakeLeaps, a startup that provides a cloud-based invoicing solution, won the top prize. As we have seen familiar faces of MakeLeaps’ people at many events in the local startup scene, it would be better to call them an authority rather than a startup. However, in view of the small number of B2B startups providing SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions in Tokyo, MakeLeaps has been boldly challenging and aiming to better serve local businesses, which won over the judges.

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MakeLeaps CEO Jason Winder (left) receiving prizes.

MakeLeaps fundraised $600,000 from 500 Startups and AngelList in August. MakeLeaps CEO Jason Winder said they are planning to integrate other services like customer relationship management next year.

Makeleaps’ won two roundtrip tickets between Tokyo and Madrid from Turkish Airlines, as well as a complimentary three-month residency at Venture Generation, a co-working and incubation space near Tokyo station.

2nd prize winner: Wovn.io

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Jeff Sandford, co-founder of Minimal Technologies, the company behind Wovn.io (left)

Wovn.io provides multilingual support for your website or blog, bringing your content to the world. Site visitors can quickly toggle between languages using the Wovn.io widget. All editing and management of your translated content can be done from the convenience of your browser. By adding a single JavaScript code to a website source, Wovn.io instantly turns a website into a multilingual environment. It is available in 11 languages including Chinese, English, and French.

According to co-founder Jeff Sandford, almost 70% of Internet users in the world are non-English speakers. Operators of websites in English can reach almost double the number of users by turning their website into a multilingual environment. Wovn.io has translated six million web pages to date. Some 30% of their users are in the US and 29% are in Japan.

Wovn.io won a roundtrip ticket between Tokyo and Madrid from Turkish Airlines, as well as a complimentary three-month residency at Venture Generation.

3rd prize winner: Breezy not Wheezy

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The ‘Breezy not Wheezy’ team

The Breezy not Wheezy team was selected from a KMD session. Asthma is a common affliction among children around the world. One of the co-founders of Breezy not Wheezy has suffered from it since she was a child, and this inspired the team to develop Breezy not Wheezy.

A peak flow meter is a device used to measure lung air flow and is effective for asthma management. The Breezy not Wheezy team connected a peak flow meter to a smartphone to record peak patterns on the cloud. This information will help parents to better manage their child’s asthma by leveraging a med companion connected to the solution.

Breezy not Wheezy won a complimentary three-month residency at Venture Generation.

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IE Business School is headquartered in Mardid, Spain, and it is counted as one of top five business schools in line up with other institutions like INSEAD in France. Their Venture Day events have seen a rapid worldwide expansion, being held in over 20 countries to date, with 16 events in 2014 alone.