Research & Innovation, a Japanese startup which specializes in market research support, announced today that it has received JPY 220 million (US$2.12 million) in funding from Mizuho Capital, Jafco, and DBJ Capital. Mizuho Capital participated in both previous funding rounds from 2012 and 2013.
Research & Innovation has two main products. Mycomment, a service that incentivizes users to rate and judge products via free trials or even cold hard cash. Companies then use these comments and ratings to improve their own products. Code, meanwhile, is an app that scans the barcodes of products. Users register those barcodes, add their reviews, and then get similar benefits as Mycomment users.
This funding marks the third round for Research & Innovation. The terms of the previous rounds are still undisclosed. The funding indicates an interest in the development of ancillary services to Japan’s growing ecommerce industry. Social apps like Code provide another way for marketers and sellers to reach, and latch onto, buyers.
Research & Innovation has the added bonus of falling under the O2O (online-to-offline) category.
A study by the Ministry of Economy, Technology, and Industry concluded that “the relative usefulness of [social media] concerning this [comparison and examinaton of products and services] turned out to have rates as high as those of television, particularly word-of-mouth websites and product-comparison websites.”
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