As we have documented before, GMO Internet is perhaps the biggest Japanese tech company largely unknown outside of its home country. Today, in its first quarter earnings report, the firm revealed a growing interest in expanding its overseas business, in part by establishing a new JPY 2.1 billion (US$18 million) startup fund. The fund, to be operated by GMO Venture Partners, a subsidiary of GMO Internet, is the fourth such fund created by the company.
GMO Internet is a classic case of a wildly successful Japanese tech company largely unknown outside the island nation. The online infrastructure company is essentially a one-stop shop for establishing an online presence. Enjoying a market cap of over US$1 billion has made GMO Internet one of the top dogs in Japan’s tech scene but the firm is largely absent from the world stage. Even its strongest overseas acquisition, the security firm GlobalSign, arguably has a stronger individual brand than its powerful parent.
GMO GlobalSign, the security division of Tokyo-based GMO Internet Group and a leading provider of identity services for online transactions, announced it has joined the Kantara Initiative, a business acceleration group and independent non-profit organization addressing the need for digital identity solutions to support and simplify consumers’ connected lives. A program of the IEEE Industry Standards and Technology Organization (IEEE-ISTO), the Kantara Initiative works to address the most significant technical and policy interoperability challenges facing the computing industry, including those presented by the Internet of Everything (IoE) and the estimated 50 billion “things” that will be connected to the Internet by 2020(1).
Bitcoin’s cloudy future in Japan just got a bit brighter. The virtual currency has been slow to catch on in Japan following the collapse of noted bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox and the government’s subsequent refusal to categorize it as a currency. There are still proponents of Bitcoin in the country, however. Now you can add GMO, one of Japan’s largest internet infrastructure firms, to the list of fans.
2C2P, a Bangkok-based online payment processing company, has secured an undisclosed amount of funding from GMO Global Payment Fund, a sister company of GMO Payment Gateway, which also invested US$500,000 into the startup late last year. This investment aligns with the GMO Payment Gateway’s latest move to partner 2C2P as it expands into Thailand. Ryu Muramatsu, director and founding partner of GMO Venture Partners, explained the reasoning behind the latest round to Tech in Asia:
Today, GMO Internet Group‘s online payment service provider, GMO Payment Gateway Inc. (TSE1:3769), has announced the Thai launch of its global payment processing service, GMO-PG Global Payment, in partnership with regional epayment gateway, 2C2P. This marks the fifth overseas entity for the Japan-based company after Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Taiwan.