acquired by Rakuten


Rakuten continues worldwide acquisitions to globalize

acquired London based virtual fitting room mannequin venture

Rakuten, Japan’s largest e-commerce + e-finance group, is acquiring many companies around the world both to acquire technology, and to acquire e-commerce capabilities outside Japan in order to globalize. Find some of Rakuten’s recent acquisitions in Europe listed here:

On July 13, 2015 Rakuten acquired London based virtual fitting room venture, both to acquire technology and we assume, also to contribute to Rakuten’s globalization. – virtual fitting room, robot mannequins, and fit advisor was founded in 2010 by two Estonian friends, Paul Pällin and Heikki Haldre, in Estonia, and in 2012 the company moved its headquarters to London. helps consumers visualize how they might look like dressed with clothes from an e-commerce site, and turning around, allows e-retailers to collect data about their potential customers. offers a number of service versions ranging from “virtual fitting rooms” to “fit advisors”.

Once the customers has entered his/her body dimensions, weight and other data,’s web mannequins represent the customer’s body dimensions, and show how selected clothing would look like on a web mannequin with the customer’s body data. received US$ 14.3 million in founding in three rounds:

  • Seed: US$ 1.8 million (Sept 22, 2010)
    • Estonian Development Fund
  • Series A: US$ 7.2 million (April 17, 2013)
    • Conor Venture Partners
    • Entrepreneurs Fund
    • Fostergate Holdings
    • SmartCap AS
  • Venture: US$ 5.3 million (Oct 24, 2014)
    • Entrepreneurs Fund
    • SmartCap AS
    • James B Gambrell
  • Total = US$ 14.3 million


Rakuten was founded by Hiroshi Mikitani, and is Japan’s leading e-commerce and e-finance company developing a global footprint through a long series of acquisitions around the globe. Find some of Rakuten’s recent acquisitions in Europe listed here:

Copyright (c) 2009-2015 Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved

Quipper acquired by Japanese media giant Recruit for US$ 39 million

Quipper acquired by Japanese media giant Recruit for US$ 39 million. Atomico, Benesse and Globis Capital Partners had invested US$ 10.1 million

EdTech venture Quipper was founded 2010 by DeNA veteran Masayuki Watanabe (渡辺雅之) in London

Recruit expands from classified-type magazine sites into education

On April 1, 2015, Japanese media giant Recruit acquired London based but largely Japanese managed EdTech venture Quipper for US$ 39 million, providing good returns for three investors, Atomico, Benesse and Globis Capital Partners, who had invested a total of US$ 10.1 million over the period 2011-2014.

Quipper represents a new class of global ventures: largely Japanese entrepreneurs and managers founded a venture in London, taking advantage of London’s global business and venture platform, and especially UK’s very strong education infrastructure and education industry, and developing global EdTech business.


Quipper is an EdTech venture developing and marketing quiz based e-learning apps platform for smartphones.

Learning content is provided by teachers, experts, publishing houses, teachers and others.

Founded on December 1, 2010 in London (UK).

US$ 10.1 million funding was invested by three investors in three stages:

  • Seed, Oct 1, 2011: £ 0.4 million by Atomico
  • Series A, May 18, 2012: £ 2.3 million by Globis Capital Partners and Atomico
  • Series A, March 6, 2014: $5.8 million by Atomico and Benesse
  • Total: US$ 10.1 million

Current Quipper team is predominantly Japanese:

  • Masayuki Watanabe (渡辺雅之), CEO
  • Masatomo Nakano, CTO
  • Takuya Nomma, Marketing Director
  • Yosuke Arakaki, Yuta Funase, Joseph Ganderson, Ryan Guerrero, Yusuke Kaneko, Takeyoshi Mizusawa, Satoru Tanabe, Mai Ueno, Annette Tsuda, Business Development


Recruit is a Japanese media company with its own original innovative business model. Recruit started with job advertising magazines, and has developed a wide range of advertising platforms for job search, weddings, used cars, and many other areas. Find a description and analysis of Recruit in our Japan Media Report.

Copyright·©2009-2015 ·Eurotechnology Japan KK·All Rights Reserved·

Nidec acquires automotive pump company Geräte- und Pumpenbau GmbH Dr. Eugen Schmidt

nidec 日本電産株式会社

Electrical water pumps (EWP), electrical oil pumps (EOP)

“for everything that spins and moves”

Nidec acquires German pump manufacturer Geräte- und Pumpenbau GmbH Dr. Eugen Schmidt via the subsidiary Nidec Motors & Actuators (Germany) GmbH (“NMA(G)”) on February 2, 2015.

Geräte- und Pumpenbau GmbH Dr. Eugen Schmidt and subsidiaries have been renamed:

  • Germany: NIDEC GPM GmbH
  • Brazil: NIDEC GPM do Brasil Automotiva Ltda.
  • China: NIDEC GPM Automotive Pumps (Suzhou) Co. Ltd.
  • USA: NIDEC GPM North America Corporation

Geräte- und Pumpenbau GmbH Dr. Eugen Schmidt (GPM)

Geräte- und Pumpenbau GmbH Dr. Eugen Schmidt (GPM) develops, manufactures and sells electrical water pumps (EWP), electrical oil pumps (EOP), and modules for passenger cars and commercial vehicles.

Geräte- und Pumpenbau GmbH Dr. Eugen Schmidt has 1002 employees as of December 31, 2014.

NIDEC (日本電産株式会社)>

Founded in 1944 in Kyoto by Nagamori Shigenobu, and produces motors, machinery, optical parts, camera shutters and other electro-mechanical equipment.

Read our report on Japan’s electronics industry sector:
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Copyright·©2009-2015 ·Eurotechnology Japan KK·All Rights Reserved·

Nidec acquires power generators manufacturer Motortecnica s.r.l.

nidec 日本電産株式会社

Nidec continues acquisitions in Europe in the motor and electrical equipment sector

Nidec: “for everything that spins and moves”

Nidec acquired the Italian electrical machinery construction and repair company Motortecnica s.r.l. on May 15, 2015 via its Italian subsidiary Nidec ASI S.p.A. (formerly, Ansaldo Sistemi Industriali S.p.A), which Nidec had acquired in May 2012.

Motortecnica s.r.l.

Motortecnica was established in 1989 in Salerno (Italy) by Antonio Iorio for the repair of electrical machines. Motortecnica has 77 employees and € 11 million in revenues for the fiscal year ending with December 31, 2014.

Motortecnica is focused on:

  • planning and production of electric machines such as motors and generators
  • construction of electric machine parts: stator coils, rotor coils, connections, whole rotors, whole stators
  • machining
  • diagnostics and repair of electric machines

Motortecnica moved to new headquarters in September 2013 workshops and factory includes:

  • Automatic brazing machine MPM 3000
  • CNC Machining units
  • Vertical lathes
  • Electric furnaces
  • Cut and skin
  • Impulse generators
  • Automatic Meter Zeiss
  • Alternating voltage generator 50 kV – 200 kVA
  • Ridgway Taping machine
  • Stator coil spindle-moulding machine
  • Roebel Transposition press
  • Instrumentation
  • Thermopresse
  • Laser cutter
  • Waterjet
  • Balancing machines maximum 30 tons

Motortecnica invests in equipment, technology and production and maintenance:

  • 2008: € 1 million
  • 2009: € 2 million
  • 2010: € 2.5 million
  • 2011: € 1.5 million
  • 2012: € 1 million
  • 2013: € 2 million
  • 2014: € 1.2 million

Nidec ASI S.p.A. (formerly, Ansaldo Sistemi Industriali S.p.A)

Nidec had acquired Ansaldo Sistemi Industriali S.p.A in May 2012, and renamed the company: Nidec ASI S.p.A. Nidec ASI’s business includes:

  • large industrial motors
  • generators
  • low and high voltage drives
  • industrial system automation and service with focus on the oil & gas, metals, renewable energy, marine and general industry sectors

Nidec was founded in 1944 in Kyoto by Nagamori Shigenobu, and produces motors, machinery, optical parts, camera shutters and other electro-mechanical equipment.

Read our report on Japan’s electronics industry sector to learn more about NIDEC and its place in Japan’s electronics industry sector:
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LIXIL announces losses of YEN 33.2 billion (US$ 265 million) due to Joyou AG’s insolvency filing


LIXIL (“Link to good living”) acquired approx. 70% of German listed Chinese subsidiary Joyou AG via the GROHE acquisition

Joyou AG files for bankruptcy

On January 21, 2014, LIXIL had acquired 87.5% of the German bath fixtures company GROHE Group (“Pure Freude am Wasser”).

The GROHE Group owns 72.3% of Joyou AG, thus Joyou AG became a LIXIL subsidiary in January 2014. Joyou AG had an IPO at the Frankfurter Stock Exchange in 2010.

Joyou AG recently filed for bankruptcy, and on June 3, 2015, LIXIL announced a restatement of accounts and projections, reducing income statements.

LIXIL announced income reductions due to the Joyou AG bankruptcy filing:

  • FY 2013 (ending March 31, 2014) net income reduced by: YEN 23.8 billion (US$ 191 million)
  • FY 2014 (ending March 31, 2015) net income reduced by: YEN 9.4 billion (US$ 76 million)
  • FY 2015 (ending March 31, 2016) net income reduced by: YEN 33 billion (US$ 26.5 million)
  • Total net income reductions (net losses): YEN 66.2 billion (US$ 532 million)

LIXIL plans to increase international business to half of its sales, and these losses represent a setback for LIXIL’s globalization plans – one of Japan’s new companies striving to overcome Japan’s “Galapagos effect”.


Lixil Corporation (“Link to Good Living”), TSE-Code 5938, manufactures building materials and housing equipment and operates home and home building centers.

LIXIL was formed on April 1, 2011 by the merger of:

  • Tostem Corporation
  • Inax Corporation
  • Shin Nikkei Company, Ltd.
  • Toyo Exterior Co., Ltd.
  • Sun Wave Corporation

and has been growing aggressively through acquisitions with the target to achieve 50% sales internationally outside Japan. In particular, jointly with the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) LIXIL acquired a 87.5% stake in the German GROHE Group in 2013, the American Standard Brands (ABS), and the Permasteelisa Group of Italy.

To become global leaders in building materials and housing equipment, LIXIL has recently acquired:

  • American Standard Brands (ABS), in August 2013 for US$ 542 million
  • American Standard Asia Pacific, in August 2009
  • Permasteelisa Group of Italy in 2011
  • Shanghai Meite Curtain Wall System in 2011
  • LG-TOSTEM, strategic alliance formed in 2010
  • Haier-LIXIL, strategic alliance formed in 2011
  • jointly with the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) LIXIL acquired a 87.5% stake in the German GROHE Group in 2013, which includes the Joyou AG

Copyright (c) 2015 Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved

Supercell: Softbank increases ownership to 73.2%

softbank invests in supercell

Supercell valued at US$ 5.3 billion

Softbank and GungHo jointly acquired 51% in October 2013 for US$ 1.5 billion

On June 1, 2015, SoftBank announced an investment to increase the ownership of Supercell stock from 50.5% to 73.2% on a fully diluted basis. This transaction had closed on May 29, 2015.

While Softbank did not officially disclose details of this transaction, VentureBeat/GamesBeat reported that SoftBank this time paid US$ 1.2 billion for this additional 22.7% of ownership. Thus by dividing US$ 1.2 billion by 22.7% we can calculate a market value of US$ 5.3 billion.

Supercell is reported to have achieved revenues of US$ 1.7 billion and income of US$ 0.5 billion in 2014.

SoftBank and GungHo together acquired 51% of Supercell for US$ 1.5 billion in October 2013: SoftBank invested US$ 1.2 billion (80%), while GungHo invested US$ 306 million (20%). GungHo sold its share to SoftBank in August 2014.

Clash of Clans ranked No. 7 top grossing in Japan’s iOS app store

Supercell achieved an important position in Japan’s smartphone game market:

Currently Clash of Clans is ranked No. 7 top grossing app in Japan’s iOS app store, and No. 6 in the Games category (source: Apple App Store ranking).

According to AppAnnie, on June 1, 2015, Supercell’s games Clash of Clans, Hay Day and Boom Beach were ranked as the No. 1 top grossing games for iPad in 149, 128 and 112 countries respectively.

Learn about Japan’s game makers and markets – our report

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Yanmar to acquire 70% of Himoinsa


Diesel engine maker Yanmar to partner with generator manufacturer Himoinsa

Yanmar and Himoinsa to provide solutions for energy markets including cogeneration

On April 27, 2015, diesel engine maker Yanmar and electricity generator maker Himoinsa announced a partnership, including Yanmar to acquire 70% of Himoinsa, to strengthen their solution business for energy markets including cogeneration.

Both Yanmar and Himoinsa are privately held companies, so the amount of information released is quite thin, however we can expect this partnership to help Himoinsa to strengthen business in Asia, where Himoinsa is active since 1999 and currently achieves about 20% of business, while Yanmar will be able to strengthen business particularly in the Hispanic parts of the world.

On the technical and product side, we can expect a range of jointly developed products.

Yanmar has supplied diesel engines for Himoinsa generators since 2006.

Himoinsa – “The Energy”

Himoinsa was founded in 1982, and is based in San Javier, Murcia, Spain.

Himoinsa manufactures and markets products including:

  • diesel generators from 3 kiloWatt to 3 MegaWatt
  • fas generators from 3 kiloWatt to 3 MegaWatt
  • diesel generators from 8 Watt to 3.5 MegaWatt
  • lighting towers up to 1.32 Mega-Lumen

Annual revenues are on the order of US$ 300 million:

  • 50% of revenues in Europe and Africa
  • 30% of revenues in the Americas
  • 20% of revenues in Asia Pacific, where Himoinsa started in 1999.

Currently nine production centers, including:

  • Headquarters and main factory in Murcia, Spain, including R&D Centre.
  • Plant Metal 1, Murcia
  • Plant Metal 2, Murcia
  • Himoinsa, China in Changzhou (Jiangsu)
  • Hipower Systems, Lenexa, Kansas, USA
  • Genelec S.A.S, Villefranche sur saone, France.
  • Control & Switchgear Himoinsa PVT Ltd, production site at Pantnagar, Uttaranchal, India.
  • Brazil
  • Argentina

Yanmar Holdings KK (ヤンマーホールディングス株式会社) – “Solutioneering Together”

Yanmar Holdings KK (ヤンマーホールディングス株式会社) is privately held:

  • Consolidated revenues: YEN 650.7 billion (US$ 5 billion) FY 2013, ended March 31, 2014
  • Consolidated operating income: YEN 44.8 billion (US$ 0.37 billion) FY 2013, ended March 31, 2014
  • Group employees: 16,678 as of March 31, 2014

Yamaoka Magokichi (山岡 孫吉, March 22, 1888 – March 8, 1962) founded the company “Yamaoka Engine Manufacturing” (山岡発動機工作所) in March 1912, trading in gas engines. In 1921 the brand/trademark Yanmar (ヤンマー) was created.

In 1920 the company began to produce small oil engines for agricultural applications.

In 1947 the company began to produced small diesel engines for fishing boats, and in 1952, the company name was changed to Yanmar Diesel KK (ヤンマーディーゼル株式会社).

In 2010 the company adopted the slogan “Solutioneering Together”.

On April 1, 2013, the group was restructured under the holding company Yanmar Holdings KK (ヤンマーホールディングス株式会社) .

Yanmar produces mainly diesel engines, and also a range of related products including:

  • fishing boats
  • hulls for ships
  • tractors
  • combine harvesters
  • rice-planting machines
  • gas heat pumps
  • snow throwers
  • mini excavators
  • portable diesel generators
  • and other equipment and machinery

Unmanned aerial vehicles – UAV, drones

Since approx. 1995, Yanmar also develops and markets unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV, drones) including:

  • Yanmar YH300 SL
  • Yanmar AYH-3


Himoinsa and Yanmar jointly offer a range of cogeneration solutions.

Cogeneration is the joint production of heat and electricity and can save substantial amounts of primary energy compared to the separate production of heat and electricity in separate plants.

Yanmar advertising and branding

ヤン坊マー坊天気予報 (Yanbou and Mabou weather forecast)

In Japan Yanmar became famous for very characteristic and successful advertising.

Yanmar used two mascots (Yanbou and Mabou) for sponsoring weather forecast (ヤン坊マー坊天気予報) on TV between June 1, 1959 and March 31, 2014:

  • ヤン坊 (ヤンぼう, Yanbou)
  • マー坊 (マーぼう, Mabou)

In July 2013 the official Yanbou Mabou Weatherforecast site was closed – read the official notice here.

You can find this branding explained on Yanmar’s website here.

And you can listen to Yanmar’s famous TV Commercial song here.

And have all your questions answered here.

Look for yourself

Copyright (c) 2015 ·Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved

Domino Printing Sciences plc to be acquired by Brother Industries

Transition from analog printing to digital printing drove coding and marking printer Domino to partner with a stronger company

Domino valued at 1.03 billion pounds (US$ 1.5 billion)

97% of today’s printing is analog, however there is a transition now to digital printing. Domino Printing Sciences is specialized on analog printing and now transitioning to digital printing, and needed a financially stronger partner to support increasing R&D costs and to finance expansion into the rapidly growing digital printing markets.

Brother Industries announced its intention to acquire publicly traded Domino Printing Sciences plc following the acquisition process prescribed in the UK for a total of around 1.03 billion pounds.

Domino Printing Sciences plc. “Domino. Do more.”

Domino Printing Sciences plc was founded as a spin-out from Cambridge Consultants in 1978 by Graeme Minto in Cambridge, UK, building on continuous inkjet printing technology (CIJ), and today has about 2300 employees and annual revenues of UKL 350 million (= US$ 526 million).

Domino explains its business in a series of infographics on Pin-it:

abaGada, Israeli digital performance agency, acquired by Dentsu and to be rebranded as iProspect

Dentsu 電通

Dentsu continues acquisition of digital and mobile agencies in Europe and Israel

To overcome cultural issues of a traditional Japanese leading corporation, Dentsu acquires via London based Dentsu Aegis Network

On April 20, 2015 Dentsu announced another investment in its quest to strengthen its global footprint and to strengthen capabilities in mobile and digital: Dentsu acquires Israeli digital performance agency abaGada Internet Ltd..

abaGada Internet Ltd. – performance marketing: “Building your online marketing strategy to deliver outstanding results”

abaGada Internet Ltd. was founded by current CEO, Eval Chen, in May 2010 in Tel Aviv, Israel, and employs about 22 people.

Revenues were about UKL 3.5 million in the year ended December 2014.

abaGada performs search engine marketing (SEM) to increase customers’ website traffic, analysis of customer and user behavior.

Dentsu plans to rebrand and integrate abaGada into Dentsu’s iProspect brand.

abaGada as Dentsu’s technology hub in Israel

Many large global corporations have operations in Israel to link into Israeli’s legendary innovative strengths. Israel’s technology strength and attraction for Japanese corporations was recently visualized at a series of events in Tokyo, e.g. The Israeli Venture Fund meeting in Tokyo on March 4, 2014.

With the acquisition of abaGada, Densu now also has an antenna into Israel’s innovations.

Dentsu and Dentsu-Aegis

Dentsu dominates Japan’s advertising space, and is a very very strong force in Japan’s media industry sector, through control and management of major advertising channels with an overwhelming market share in Japan, and has been working hard to leverage its creative power and strength in Japan into a larger global footprint.

A big step forward towards a larger global footprint for Dentsu was the acquisition of the London based Aegis Group, announced on July 5, 2012.

Report on Japan’s media landscape (150 pages, pdf file):
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Copyright·©2009-2015 ·Eurotechnology Japan KK·All Rights Reserved·

Nippon Life Insurance partners with AXA Life Insurance

Nippon Life Insurance (日本生命保険相互会社) acquires 1% of stock of AXA Life Insurance

Nippon Life Insurance and AXA to jointly offer health insurance product Medi-AxN

Nippon Life Insurance (日本生命保険相互会社) and AXA Life Insurance announced a partnership, and Nippon Life intends to acquire 1% of outstanding shares of AXA Life Insurance to develop a long-term partnership.

Currently AXA’s market capitalization is US$ 62 billion, therefore Nippon Life’s 1% investment in AXA corresponds to about US$ 0.62 billion.

Nippon Life Insurance and AXA are planning to jointly market the health insurance product Medi-AxN (メディ・アン).

Nippon Life Insurance (日本生命保険相互会社)

Nippon Life Insurance (日本生命保険相互会社) was founded on July 4, 1889, is based on Osaka, and has a total of 70,806 employees (of which 18,481 are in-house employees).

Nippon Life Insurance (日本生命保険相互会社) has 113 branch offices, 1562 sales offices and 12,567 distribution partners.

Nippon Life Insurance (日本生命保険相互会社, 日本生命) is a mutual company (相互会社), and not currently traded on any stock exchange.

Annual sales: YEN 7 201 billion (= US$ 60 billion) (FY 2013)
Net income: YEN 248 billion (=US$ 2 billion) (FY 2013)

AXA Life Insurance (アクサ生命保険株式会社, アクサ生命)

The AXA Group is active in 59 countries with about 157,000 employees, with about 100 million customers.

Annual sales: € 92 billion (2014)

AXA is traded on the Paris Euronext exchange.

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