About Eureka Ventures
Eureka Ventures is an investment partnership working with technology companies. We take the life-cycle approach and work with our entrepreneurs through Starting, Building, Thriving and Maturing stages. In addition, the three stages of Refining, Surviving and Exit management get special attention. Typically, Eureka Ventures receives equity for its contribution.
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Latest Eureka Ventures News
Aug 27, 2014
See the original story in Japanese. Japanese startup Eureka has a brilliant office in Ebisu, Tokyo. Since its launch in 2008, the company has provided mobile apps like Pairs and Couples . We recently visited the office to hear from the company’s CEO Yu Akasaka and COO Jun Nishikawa. Boasting over 1.3 million users In July, Akasaka and Nishikawa co-founded a company focused on incubating and investing in startups in Japan and the rest of the world, which is called Eureka Ventures . In association with DeNA and other companies, Eureka Ventures participated in a $500,000 investment round in East Meet East , a New York-based online dating service for Asian people. Eureka expects that the partnership through this investment help growing their business further while exploring a business synergy between the North American and Asian markets. Since its launch two years ago, the Pairs app has acquired over 1.3 million downloads from the Japanese and Taiwanese markets to date, and about 500,000 users came over from Taiwan. Given the high penetration rate of Facebook and pro-Japanese people, they attempted to be focused on marketing in Taiwan, and it actually made a big success. Akasaka explained what has triggered them to start developing the Pairs app. There are many online dating services in the North American and North European markets. But we thought this sector is not yet well established and still has many spaces to grow. Typical online dating sites may give you a negative impression, so we understood the importance of changing the culture to improve it. After shutting down two mobile apps Eureka has actually introduced four apps to date: Online dating and marriage hunting app Pairs, memory sharing app Couples, app discovery app Peepapp and its antecedent Pickie . But the last two services have been already shut down. Following other users, Peepapps allowed you to peep what apps they were using. But it was too early because there was no trend among people exploring a new app on a social basis. Regardless of support from a big company or a big promotion budget, we learned through our experience that a service not in step with the times would be never accepted. After shutting down the two services, Eureka had been exploring the next business to challenge in parallel with cultivating contracted software development businesses. Nishikawa subsequently came up with an idea of an online dating service: When it comes to a new business idea, we wanted to create the one which is obviously monetizable. The online dating sector is merging and has a solid revenue model. I believed a huge potential out there because I saw many friends around me using such a service when I was abroad to study. Adopting a data-driven approach Despite the fact that the Asian region is considered a ‘Blue Ocean’ market for them, there are many competitors in the online dating sector. What is a key advantage behind their steadily growth? The two co-founders have strong backgrounds in marketing through their experience working with e-commerce businesses. They attach much importance to metrics like customer acquisition cost, life time value, or conversion rate, and are adjusting the service following the data-driven approach that they have learned from their previous business experiences. Akasaka elaborated: We keep seeing metrics and improving the app every day. In addition to various metrics and user feedback, we’re shareing figures like how many times the app has been crashed in our entire team. So we can run a PDCA cycle very quickly. Improving user experience to satisfy user needs Akasaka pointed out that both a product itself and a promotion effort matter to make a big success. That’s directly linked with their behavior that they have been developing the app with having a user’s perspective. Akasaka explained how they are making efforts to improve the app: We launched a new version of the Pairs app for iOS and Android on August 21, where we rolled out various improvements. For example, typical onine dating apps show you square-shaped profile photos but we changed it to round-shaped ones, which shows less numbers of candidates in a first view screen. This is a very minor change but create a world view different from that of conventional dating sites, which makes users easier to sign up. Nishikawa added: While our desktop version looks like Facebook, the iOS app has adopted a similar interface to Line. Considering apps that our users are using most often, we are improving interfaces of the service for devices accordingly. We can see their thoughtfulness in the well-designed interface. For example, they use an elaborate design in the app screen so you will not have to worry about a peep even when you are using the app in a crowded train. That’s from considering Japanese women’s typical concern that they hate anyone to know about using an online dating app. Educational activities needed in any markets The Pairs has acquired over 8 million Facebook likes, over 1 million monthly active users, and matched over 4 million couples in total. However, once a user finds a good partner on the Pairs app, he or she will quit the app shortly. How the team addresses this issue? In a response to my question, Akasaka explained: It doesn’t matter. If a couple step into the next phase, they will start our another app Couples. Even if their relationship couldn’t work, they will get back to us and start using the Pairs app again. As Akasaka now thinks that they can grow the service 10 times bigger, he aims to educate people and improve their negative stereotype about encounters through online dating services. Nishikawa explained how they will proceed from here: We invested in New York-based online dating service East Meet East one month ago. In a recent discussion with the team, they told us even Western couples are not willing to unveil that they have met each others using an online dating service. So this education process will be needed globally. We’ll be devoting ourselves to it.
Eureka Ventures Investments
Eureka Ventures has made 1 investments. Their latest investment was in EastMeetEast as part of their Seed VC on August 8, 2014.
Eureka Ventures Investments Activity
Eureka Ventures Team
1 Team Member
Eureka Ventures has 1 team member, including current Founder, President, Minaz Lalani.