Miko Matsumura is the senior vice president of developer relations at Kii Corporation. He studied at San Francisco State University. In this interview, Miko talks about how Kii Corporation helps entrepreneurs develop mobile apps and introduces us to an interesting and innovative business model that bears new and exciting possibilities for mobile app creators.
Sramana Mitra: Miko, let’s start with some context. The audience may not know the company. They are going to be confused about whether this is a software company or a venture capital firm, because it seems to be both. Help us understand your company as well as your background.
Miko Matsumura: That sounds great. The company was formed in an evolutionary way. The company actually has its roots in data technology on behalf of carriers. There is a Japanese company called Synclore that had relationships with NTT DoCoMo in Japan and SoftBank, the number one and number two carriers. These relationships amounted to serving tens of millions of subscribers through data cloud service. This is one of the roots of the company that has been in operation for a number of years. At some juncture this company was looking to expand overseas. It actually merged with a Silicon Valley company, which is the root from where I come from.
This company had actually done business with China Mobile. It is a funny thing to have a Silicon Valley company with a presence and employees in China put together with a company that has roots in Japan. This covers three very distinct regions. What the company decided to do from a strategy perspective was to segregate the application development skill from the platform skill. As a result, it created this kind of technology offering. What it did was take all the core cloud technology offerings from its history and essentially open them up to become what we call MBAS, or mobile back-end as a service. This transformation basically separated the application development scale from the server scale ability cloud or elasticity type of scale that we had been cultivating.
What happened was a natural evolution of that [split] – the outgrowth of what we call key capital, which is essentially the venture fund. So, we have a venture fund and it is public knowledge. It is about a five million dollar fund, and it continues to expand. We are looking to make capital-efficient investments in mobile application entrepreneurs.
SM: And the technology that the company sells?
MM: Yes. Our technology is in this category called mobile back-end as a service. It effectively allows any mobile application developer with a supported platform device like iOS or Android to drop in a SIM application tool kit (STK) and quickly add analytics, certain kinds of monetization services, user management, or data management services into their apps. It is basically the patterns we learned by working closely with application developers. We learned certain things, like everybody was just building the same over and over.