Japan’s Sekai Lab, A Crowdsourced App Development Service Secures US$2.5 Million For Market Expansion

Sekai Lab Raises US$2.5 million

Tokyo-based Monstar Lab, the company providing crowdsourced offshore app development service Sekai Lab, announced on Friday that it has secured 250 million yen, which roughly translates to about US$2.5 million.

The round was participated from Gogin Capital, the investment arm of San-In Gogo Bank and Resona Capital, the private equity and venture capital arm of Resona Holdings, in addition to existing shareholders.This follows the company previous US$3.3 million funding from Pasonatech and DG Incubation.

Getting Gogin Capital on board as a shareholder may be related to the fact that Monstar Lab has a development location at the similar location of Matsue, Shimane Prefecture. This will thus provide the opportunity of offering existing offshore app development services, especially to help and improve the situation in and around Shimane where companies still struggle with the lack of system engineers.

Founded in December 2013 by Hiroki Inagawa, Sekai Lab is a solution to match Japanese companies with skilled engineers in Asian countries. In other words, Sekai Lab acts as a crowdsourcing platform which allows companies in Japan to find their entrusted development platform in affordable markets such as Vietnam, China, and Bangladesh, which makes up the top three in the list, to produce websites, apps, games, and other online services.

The startup also provides translation and localization services to ensure that language barriers will not be an issue. Additionally, the startup also claims that clients in Japan, Singapore, and the US can save up to 75 percent on development costs by outsourcing with Sekai Lab.

To date, Monstar Lab offers app development in 17 countries worldwide which include China, Bangladesh, and Vietnam but the startup still continues to further expand their markets. In October, the company’s CEO Hiroki Inagawa visited Jordan, and this hints at the possibility of expansion into the Middle East from Asia where they now have multiple development locations.

The funds raised this time will be used for such market expansion efforts. With its established international resources, Sekai Lab can provide comparatively inexpensive and high-quality offshore development for projects from Japan and elsewhere.

As its name implies, ‘Sekai’ which is translated to “the world” in Japanese shows the startup’s ambition in taking on the global market, in both name and deed. To change the world with its technology.

For more information, please visit https://monstar-lab.com/jp/

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

Behavior Analytics Firm Interana Raises US$18 Million In Funding Round Led By Vertex Ventures

Interana Secures US$18 Million From Vertex Ventures

Interana, the leader in interative behavioral analytics for the digital economy has announced last week that it has raised US$18 million in an oversubscibed funding round led by Vertex Ventures Holdings, a member of Temasek Holdings which focuses on venture capital investment opportunities in the IT and healthcare sector. The round was also participated by Battery Ventures, Data Collective, Allen Company, Fuel Capital and Index Ventures.

The new investments will bring Interana’s total funds raised to US$46.2 million and will be used to support the startup’s next phase of growth, that is to expand its customer base and make behavioral analytics broadly available to digitally transforming businesses. The startup current customer base includes digital leaders like Bing, Tinder, Reddit, Asana and Azure. Additionally, the proceeds will also be used to advance product development.

“Our mission is to put the power of interactive data exploration in the hands of everyone across todays’s digital businesses. The latest round of funding and powerhouse additions to Interana’s board will help make this vision for self-service behavioral analytics a reality,” said Ann Johnson, the CEO and co-founder of Interana.

With this development, the startup based in Redwood City, California also announced that it has appointed In Sik Rhee, a General Parner at Vertex Venture and Max Schireson, an executive-in-residence at Battery Ventures to the Interana Board of Directors.

The executive-in-residence at Battery Venture also made a comment, saying that as digital transformation continues to impact businesses, employees from the C-suite down must be able to explore the digital behavior patterns of people and things to make sound business decisions. In this case, Interana provides the solution of a new, iterative approach with big data sets in today’s highly dynamic business environment.

Interana’s behavioral analytics solution claims to fill a critical gap left by traditional business intelligence and simple clickstream reporting tools that provide simple metrics on the web and mobile services. These describes the limitations in their flexibility and scalability for companies when businesses need to answer more meaningful questions about digital behavior. Solving this, the company makes a software that replays massive volumes of events across large populations of actors that answer behavioral questions on a distributed proprietary back end.

“We’ve been invested in data for a long time. What’s very clear is that the benefits of data are not flowing to the business user, they are trapped with technologists,” said In Sik Rhee, the General Parnter at Vertex Ventures. “Most business users don’t know what information they want initially out of their vast data and often the first ideas are not the best. Figuring out better ways to ask the right questions of their data is an iterative process, and unlike other offerings that tout themselves as self-service but have many hidden intermediaries, Interana provides true self-service analytics, giving users that critical ability to ask questions without a gatekeeper. They are building a sustainable solution to disrupt a congested analytics market.”

For more information, please visit https://www.interana.com/

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media