Tokyo, Japan (PRWEB) November 29, 2012
GMO Internet Group company and Japanese Venture Capital firm, GMO VenturePartners today announces the launch of GMO VenturePartners Fund III. The new fund is dedicated to the strategic fields: Ecommerce/Payment, Smartphone, Adtech, Technology Platform, and Enterprise Social. At first close the firm has already raised JPY500 million from GMO Internet Group companies.
The first investee of the fund is Coda Payments, a startup enabling micropayments in Southeast Asia using advanced carrier-billing technology.
“In the emerging markets of Southeast Asia, where many customers lack credit and debit cards, Coda Payments allows customers to make purchases online using their pre- or post-paid mobile account,” said Neil Davidson, CEO of Coda Payments. “For merchants, Coda dramatically improves conversion rates for mobile operators, Coda drives customer acquisition and retention while unlocking new revenue streams.”
Since 2005 GMO VP has operated a number of funds including the Social Ad & Commerce Technology fund (JPY2.3 billion) established in 2011. Five GMO VP investees have achieved IPOs including the billion-dollar IPO to NYSE of Chinas fourth largest Internet company, Qihoo 360 technology (GMO VP Fund I).
As the firm closes existing funds to new investment, the launch of GMO VP Fund III, marks an expansion of investment focus to include the SEA region, and an effort to increase returns. While continuing to invest existing funds in Japan and China, GMO VP will direct the new fund toward Advertising, Ecommerce, Payment, and Smartphone related startups in the rapidly growing SEA region.
GMO VP seeks out investment opportunities that have an affinity with the businesses and specializations of other companies in the Japanese Internet conglomerate, GMO Internet Group. The Group is a market leader in Japans domain registration (3.46 million domains), web hosting (53.8% market share), ecommerce (over 62,000 stores), and payment processing (annual transaction volume approx. 1 trillion yen) markets.
*figures as of 9/2012
GMO Internet Group is currently expanding outside Japan, to regions including South East Asia and recognizes the strategic importance of investment in the SEA region. The firm believes that forming actual business alliances with Japanese companies moving into the SEA region will effectively support local startups to expand. Further, GMO VP believes that parallels can be drawn between the Internet market environment in the region today and that of the one in Japan in the early 2000s and is therefore confident that it can make a contribution in SEA given its experience in the industry.
Founding Partner of GMO VenturePartners, Ryu Muramatsu, started his career in VC in 1994 and has also invested in GMO Internet. He serves concurrently as Executive Vice President of GMO Payment Gateway, a company that provides payment processing services for 39,000 online stores.
Coda Payments Pte Ltd.
Mobile operators around the world are seeing revenues from their traditional content business plateau or decline, in part due to the shortcomings of premium-rate SMS. Codas direct carrier-billing infrastructure and merchant acquisition capabilities help mobile network operators recapture these revenues while increasing loyalty and driving acquisition. In turn, Coda allows online merchants to more effectively monetize their content and services. Coda is active across Southeast Asia and headquartered in Singapore.
GMO VenturePartners, Inc.
GMO VenturePartners is Japanese corporate VC firm and a member of GMO Internet Group.
Its 40 portfolio companies include 5 IPOs: Qihoo 360 Technology(NYSE), Fullspeed (TSE), Accelmark (TSE), NEXT (TSE) and Vector (TSE).
GMO Internet Group
GMO Internet Group is a comprehensive provider of industry-leading Internet solutions including domain name registration, cloud-based and traditional hosting, ecommerce, security, and payment processing services that each hold the top share of their respective markets in Japan. Other key business areas for the Group include online securities/FX trading, Internet advertising, search engine marketing and online research, and smartphone game development and publishing. GMO Internet, Inc. (TSE: 9449) is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. For more information please visit http://www.gmo.jp/en.