Skirmishes are breaking out in certain industries for Japanese startups. Everyone wants to be number one but getting the top spot is easier said than done. Competition is fierce, like the see-saw between Gunosy and Smartnews for the nation’s news app supremacy. Over in the world of accounting software for businesses, a new study shows that Freee is the leader, and may not be letting go of that title anytime soon.
Today, Google Play unveiled a banner ad on the Play Store announcing its Newsstand now includes Indonesian content. Google has had a hand in the news aggregating game for quite a while now, making improvements with each iteration. In America it started with the simple news and weather app, then moved on to develop Google Currents, which was then replaced with Google Play Newsstand, an app that allows users to subscribe to both free and paid news sources and magazines, in a similar fashion to Apple’s Newsstand.
NTT Communications, (NTT Com), the ICT solutions and international communications provider within the NTT Group (NYSE: NTT), has announced a new global agreement with international law firm King & Wood Mallesons. The deal will see King & Wood Mallesons deploy NTT Com’s innovative, seamless and self-manageable cloud solution, Enterprise Cloud, throughout the company’s newly-expanded worldwide network for website hosting and providing a law content portal on a global scale.
NTT Docomo (“Docomo”) is best known as Japan’s most widely used mobile carrier . Now, the company is also branching into machine translation. Docomo announced it will create a new company, Mirai Translate, in a joint venture with European translation service provider SysTran and Japanese speech technology firm FueTrek . Initial capital for the venture comes at JPY 990 million (US$ 9.05 million), with Docomo supplying 51 percent ownership, SysTran 30 percent, and FueTrek the remaining 19 percent. Mirai Translate will go live in October.
Talking to the Wall Street Journal , Libin says the service now has 100 million registered users in total, of whom over 30 percent are in Asia. Emphasizing the importance of embracing new markets, only 25 percent of Evernote’s user-base is in the US and Canada. That’s why Libin says Evernote will add more staff in Asia. It already has offices in Beijing, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, and Tokyo. He adds that the firm is considering an office in India, and plans to enter the Australian market soon.
Employees of Australia’s national broadcaster will have a new suite of email and collaboration tools in the not-too-distant future, as the ABC looks to the cloud to replace Exchange 2007. The organisation of around 6000 workers will be forced to migrate off the Exchange email platform in the coming 12 to 18 months as the software reaches the end of its anticipated life span and as the business faces very public budget pressures.
Each of Thailand’s eight million primary and secondary school students as well as those schools’ 400,000 teachers will soon have access to Microsoft Office 365 for Education. A press statement by Microsoft (Thailand) Ltd. said this development is the result of a memorandum of agreement signed between the Thai government’s Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC) and their vendor firm.
Microsoft has launched Office 365 Personal for individual users in the Indian market today. The subscription has been priced at Rs 330 ($5.4) for a month and Rs 3,299 ($55) per year and it allows users to connect up to two devices and work seamlessly. The productivity suite, Office 365 Personal, utilizes the cloud service to sync your work across devices. The suite includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, and more. Using the subscription, you can enjoy all its features on your tablet or phone, and on one Windows/Mac system.
Thailand’s economy has suffered in the past few years due to political unrests. But the country is staying afloat. Its GDP is at US$365 billion, which is higher than Malaysia and the Philippines. The country’s unemployment rate is only at 0.67 percent. However, looking at the other side of the coin, Thailand’s job market is quite competitive and employers find it tough to hire the right talent. Thailand-based startup WonderMe aims to solve that problem.
Japan’s top accounting SaaS startup, freee, has netted US$8 million in series B funding from DCM and Infinity Venture Partners (IVP), Tech in Asia has learned. IVP previously invested in freee. Freee is integrated with over 1,600 banks in Japan, making accounting easier to manage without too much data entry. A company accountant just has to approve the bills. Freee also helps small businesses generate tax reports in a few clicks for tax submissions to authorities.
Founded by Daisuke Sasaki and Ryu Yokoji in July 2012, freee aims to make bookkeeping and accounting quick and easy. While the idea seems simple, no one seems to have created an easy-to-use piece of accounting software for Japan. For many years, Yayoi has been dominating the accounting software space with over 60 percent market share in Japan. Sasaki says that Yayoi follows the dual-entry bookkeeping method, which could prove to be difficult and unnecessary for many small businesses. It functions okay but it lacks invoicing or bank account integration. It is at best an upgraded Excel spreadsheet.
Canva, which has built an online tool that makes creating graphics super easy, has been making waves. It raised US$3 million from Australian and US investors last March before launching the product, which is rare given the discouraging investment scene Down Under. Today, the Sydney-based startup announced that Apple’s former chief evangelist Guy Kawasaki has finished his contract with Motorola and Google, and has joined the team full-time in the same role he performed at Apple. Kawasaki has also invested an undisclosed sum in the company.
Microsoft’s Office 365 Personal, a new consumer subscription offering for Office 365, is now available in Asia Pacific. The software company announced the availability of this offering today, adding that Office 365 Personal is designed for smaller households or individual users with single PC and tablet devices, but comes with the familiar features of Office in the cloud to subscribers.
SINGAPORE, April 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Krux (www.krux.com), the global technology leader in cloud-based data management, has opened an office in Singapore and appointed marketing and digital media pioneer Stu Spiteri as managing director, Asia-Pacific, to take advantage of the rapid demand for the company’s DMP solution in the region.
Takashi Inoue (pictured below), founder and CEO of NEXT, is responsible for HOME’S, one of Japan’s largest real estate listings and housing information sites. Established in 1997 in Yokohama, HOME’S was NEXT’s first online product, and it has now grown to over four million listed properties. The company itself made over US$117 million in revenue in 2013. Inoue – an economics graduate from Aoyama Gakuin University – started his career at Recruit Cosmo, the real estate developer subsidiary of Recruit.
TOKYO, March 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com), the data, cloud and international communications leader within the NTT (NYSE: NTT) Group, announced on March 24 that its Enterprise Mail cloud service is available effective immediately in Taiwan. The service also will be launched in Singapore and Vietnam during July. Availability in other markets in Asia, Oceania and the U.S., are forthcoming. Enterprise Mail supports intra-company communications as a highly functional webmail solution with an enterprise-oriented user interface and advanced search functions.
SINGAPORE, March 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The cloud analytics market is relatively niche in Asia-Pacific. As the demand for optimization and real-time data soars, enterprises across the region are integrating cloud analytics into their business models and fueling the growth of this new area. New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, The Case for Analytics in the Cloud, discusses the impact that predictive analytics will have on transforming the way companies plan their go-to-market strategies.
Ingram Micro (IM) will extend its influence in worldwide Office 365 distribution by taking a bite out of the Australian market when it begins selling the popular cloud-based software in April. The wholesale technology distributor’s entrance into the Australian market is yet another example of Ingram’s growing momentum in the cloud software field, especially with Microsoft’s (MSFT) popular platform. Distribution in the Australian channel now means that Ingram has a steady foothold in several of the largest IT distribution channels in the world, including the North American market.