Sramana Mitra: Could you give me an example of the types of applications that really take advantage of your technology?
Miko Matsumura: It is a very diverse lot. We have a couple of different applications. One is called Astro File Manager. It is a utility-type application for use on Android. This is another one of those funny companies where we also did an investment. But they are using a cloud for both the analytics services, and they are also using storage to provide this kind of Astro File backup from the device. They are also using user management technologies to make all those [processes] glue together.
Those are the kinds of things we do. We have another app called KeepSafe. KeepSafe is a media privacy app, so it creates a separate media directory on your device that is protected by a PIN. They are also doing a backup application. But obviously, our applications are not restricted to backup. For example, we launched an app in Japan, sort of a couple’s app. It is a bit like the couple’s app BeCouply and these kinds of things. It includes chatting, photo sharing, anniversary reminders, and so on. There are all kinds of activities you can do with this app. You can take pictures of a product and say, “Buy this for me.” This app uses our technology as well. There are a lot of different applications. When you look at the technology itself, it is very horizontal.
SM: How many apps have been developed with your technology?
MM: We have about 50 apps. They range from very small apps to very large apps. When you look at 40 million downloads of Astro, that is big. Obviously SoftBank and DoCoMo have apps that are deployed on there, and they are also very big in terms of deployment and reach. But there are a number of them that are still growing.
SM: What is the business model of the company? When an app uses your technology, how do you get paid?
MM: We have a simple model. The fund has its own venture capital style of model. But we participate in the revenue sharing on the advertising side, and we also have a certain amount of pay-per-use on the cloud technology side. What we try to do is scale it so that successful apps are paying for what they use. That is a classic cloud type of model.
SM: And you are about a $20 million company?
MM: We are not privately held, so we don’t disclose that information. But we are a profitable and big, 75-person company.
SM: The venture fund you mentioned is about $5 million. How many applications or companies have you invested in from this fund?
MM: I think it is about five or six so far.
SM: And what kinds of denomination investments does the fund take part in?
MM: The fund typically focuses on series A style and fairly capital-efficient markets.