One of NTT Investment Partners’ portfolios, Flower Shot, is planning to place related advertisements in their photo-sharing service that is exclusively for flower-related pictures. The service is a “photo-sharing service exclusively for flowers” where users can edit, post and share their flower photos taken by their own cameras, smart phone, mobile phone and DSLR on Twitter and Facebook.
If the name of the flower is unknown, users in the network can interact with each other to find out about the flower’s identity. For a limited time only, the app is available for free on the Android platform and Web version. The latest version (3.o.o) of the 8.5MB app requires to run on Android OS 2.2 and up. The app allows you to see where and when the pictures are shot.
NTT Investment Partner (NTT-IP), a fully owned subsidiary of Nippon Telephone and Telegraph (NTT) established in February 2008, acts as the General Partner to manage the NTT-IP fund. With a fund size of 15 billion yen spanning over a 10 year time period, there are four Directors and Presidents that holds various executive positions within NTT, and a of team dedicated full time professionals.
Overall, ICT fields in technology, platforms, applications, content are growing areas whereby ICT will enhance its future value as they are main targets of investments. Meanwhile, public and Joint Ventures in Japan and overseas countries are also their target companies. Taking a majority share is not their priority. The amount of funds per investee is around 10 million up to 1 billion yen, with 100 million yen being the average.
High market growth potential and strategic synergy with NTT business companies are their top priorities. BroadEarth, Ubitus, Midokura, Enterprise DB, SoftFront, Optim, Scigineer are among 22 portfolio companies at the seed, early, middle, later and listed stages, based in Japan, Taiwan and the U.S they have as of October last year. This spans across platform, content, service, middleware technology and hardware fields.
Since offering the app in September last year, more and more photos from users outside Japan are being uploaded and shared. Realizing that the contents uploaded and viewed by users from different parts of the world, the company recreated an English version for both the app and web application. Anyway, The Flower Contents Production Committee has provided “The People’s Flower Library”- the nation’s largest flower library site containing over 3000 types of flowers since April 13, 2011. Selling mobile contents such as wallpaper, pictures, and affiliating with e-commerce sites and gamification are other ways of its revenue model.
Interestingly, more than ten percent of downloads are from users outside of Japan, even though the app is in Japanese with absolutely no advertising at all. The U.S., Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Korea, China and Malaysia are some of the countries with contributing the the growing number of users. Tens of thousands of unique users are accessing the site. At this rate, they target to have 200,000 members by the end if this year. Advertising through social network and reaching out to a wider member base through the use of location base feature are part of their global expansion plan.