GREE, with KDDI and Tencent, Launches First Global Android-focused Fund - New “A-Fund” Managed by DCM Marks $100 Million Strategic Initiative -
Apr. 21, 2011
TOKYO, Japan - April 22, 2011 - GREE, Japan's leading mobile social gaming platform, today announced the launch of the world's first Android-focused fund (“A-Fund”) to be managed by leading Pacific Rim technology venture capital firm DCM. The A-FundSM is a $100 million investment initiative that will focus on startups developing compelling solutions taking advantage of Android's rapid growth.
GREE and KDDI Corporation, Japan's second largest mobile operator, are anchor investors. Funding and support will also come from strategic partner Tencent, one of China's largest integrated Internet services companies. The A-Fund will be managed by DCM, an investor in early stage technology companies based in Silicon Valley, Beijing and Tokyo. DCM plans to announce additional partners in the A-Fund, including a leading US based semiconductor company, in the coming weeks.
“There is an amazing array of ideas and talent waiting to be unleashed,” said Yoshikazu Tanaka, founder and CEO of GREE. “The A-Fund will give start-ups the ability to take advantage of Android's inherent international potential, and access to top investors and strategic partners across the world.”
“We are very excited to kick off this truly global and groundbreaking partnership,” said Makoto Takahashi, senior vice president of KDDI. “Leveraging our years of experience in mobile innovation and leadership in Japan, this new fund can help foster the next generation of disruptive mobile businesses around the world.”
The A-Fund will create a strong network of top-tier start-ups and provide access to resources, relationships and business opportunities catered to the needs of Android related companies. DCM and its corporate partners will provide the capital, global business expertise, business development support, and other value-add services needed to succeed in a rapidly evolving market.
“The rise of Android is a rare and massive opportunity - one that comes only once in a major tech cycle,” said David Chao, co-founder and general partner, DCM. “The A-Fund will seek out the most promising companies enhancing and extending the rich open Android ecosystem-in mobile and beyond-including applications, services, and enabling technologies.”
Led by DCM partners in Silicon Valley, Tokyo and Beijing, the A-Fund is open to startups and developers from around the world, at any stage and size, whose products will shape the future of the Android ecosystem.
Android is one of the fastest growing technology platforms in the world in terms of both adoption and app deployment. In the last 12 months, the number of Android enabled devices has grown 861 percent; today there are more than 250,000 apps in the Android market and millions of Android devices around the world.
GREE provides Japan's leading social networking service and social applications at the forefront of mobile technology with over 25 million users. GREE started its global expansion by opening GREE International in San Francisco, a 100% wholly-owned subsidiary of GREE, a multi-billion dollar company trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (Code:3632). GREE aims to provide a truly global social platform for users worldwide by pursuing further collaboration with established Japanese as well as international partners, and enabling meaningful person to person interaction within games. For further information, please visit at http://www.gree-corp.com.
About KDDI Corporation
With more than 30 million subscribers, KDDI is Japan's second-largest mobile operator. Furthermore, together with its subsidiaries, now KDDI is the only Japanese ICT solution company that provides comprehensive services for consumers and corporate clients. With services from fixed to mobile communications and solutions, “TELEHOUSE” data centers and broadcasting, KDDI aims to be a company that creates new styles for customer's lives and corporate activities from local communities to overseas with communication as its base.
Tencent aims to enrich the interactive online experience of Internet users by providing a comprehensive range of Internet and wireless value-added services. Through its various online platforms, including Instant Messaging QQ, web portal QQ.com, QQ Game portal, multi-media social networking service Qzone and wireless portal, Tencent services the largest online community in China and fulfills the user's needs for communication, information, entertainment and e-Commerce on the Internet. For more information, please visit www.tencent.com.
DCM is an early stage venture capital firm that has been helping entrepreneurs build world-class technology companies since 1996. The firm's partners manage six funds totaling US$2 billion, and have made investments in more than 140 technology companies across the United States and Asia. With offices in Silicon Valley, Beijing and Tokyo, DCM provides hands-on operational guidance and a vast network of business and financial resources to its portfolio companies globally. DCM has backed industry leading companies such as 51job (NASDAQ:JOBS), About.com (acquired by The New York Times Co.), Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR), eDreams (acquired by TA), Foundry Networks (Nasdaq: FDRY), Kabu.com (TSE Main: 8703), Sling Media (acquired by EchoStar), SMIC (NYSE: SMI), and VanceInfo (NYSE: VIT) as well as upcoming startups such as Bridgelux, Happy Elements, mBaoBao, PapayaMobile, RenRen, RockYou, Sandforce, Trion Worlds, Ustream, and Vipshop. Recent exits include three new China-based IPOs: BitAuto Holdings (NYSE: BITA), DangDang Inc. (NYSE: DANG), and Shanghai Luxin (SZSE: 002565) and two US-based exits: Fortinet (NASDAQ: FTNT) and PGP (acquired by Symantec).