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News  5, Aug 2013

Yahoo! Japan acquires e-commerce group Venture Republic

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Yahoo! Japan acquires e-commerce group Venture Republic founded by Kei Shibata for an undisclosed sum. What’s next for the Japan-based firm?

Yahoo!’s CEO, Marissa Mayer might be known for the 20 startups the conglomerate acquired since over a year ago. However, let’s not forget its firm grip across the globe – in Japan.

According to SD Japan, Yahoo! Japan announced last week that it has acquired local e-commerce group, Venture Republic for an undisclosed amount. This comes after news of it buying over Japanese startup Bluem, which operates Dreampass, an on-demand cinema service in March. Last year, we also reported about its partnering up with GREE, a global mobile social gaming network, and acquiring Community Factory for about US$12.8 million.

Run by CEO Kei Shibata, Venture Republic has been known for its investments in two startups, namely Indonesia-based Telunjuk and Singapore-based Flocations. Interestingly, Telunjuk, a price comparison site, pitched at e27′s Indonesia Satellite earlier this year, and Flocations, a travel booking site, did the same in Singapore the previous year.

Read also: The curious case of Flocations’ pivot

Unsurprisingly so, Venture Republic is also an online portal provider in the travel e-commerce vertical. It offers its services to startups and companies in this space, such as Travel.jp, Hotel.jp and Coneco.net. Going forward, while the “equity of the comparison shopping business has been acquired by Yahoo! Japan”, Venture Republic will be “bringing the whole team who has been running Coneco.net to the new entity”.

UPDATE: Kei shared via email:

“While our travel business (Travel.jp and Hotel.jp – travel meta search, hotel reviews and destination guide) stays fully independent, the equity of our comparison shopping business is acquired by Yahoo! Japan this time to accelerate the growth. Under the Yahoo! Japan group, the new company Ocenyc Inc. will be led by Kenichi Shibata, co-founder & COO of Venture Republic and the operation will be run by the whole team who has been running coneco.net.”

Travel e-commerce space in Japan is the second largest in market size after shopping and keeps growing constantly. Japan has (arguably) the second largest travel market in the world after the U.S. and the new government eyes on it in its new growth strategy.”

The move will also see users have more flexibility in terms of web search and other Yahoo! services. Kei also said that there will be more details on how this acquisition will bring value to their users soon. He views the travel e-commerce scene in Japan as “promising and exciting”.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Elaine Huang

Elaine Huang

Elaine is a fervent believer that if there ever is a zombie apocalypse, we will all be snapping away at them with our phones and posting them onto Instagram. A Mass Communication graduate of Ngee Ann Polytechnic's School of Film and Media Studies, she enjoys writing about technology and entrepreneurs. When not hashtagging her way through all sorts of trouble, Elaine is probably contemplating how to write in the third person.

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