Japanese offline GPS app Yamap raises $1.5m in Series A round

Japanese hiking app Yamap has raised JPY 170 million ($1.5 million) in a Series A round, according to a report published by Tech in Asia yesterday.

The funds were led by Colopl, a Japanese gaming publisher; and saw participation from Japanese venture capital firms Daiwa Corporate Investment and Dogan.

The company intends to expand into the US, says Yoshi Haruyama, founder and CEO, Yamap.

Currently, the iOS and Android mobile app service is available internationally, meaning anyone can easily download the app and its services. However, the catch is that most of the posts on the app are in Japanese, making it extra difficult for Yamap and its team to build a tight-knitted community outside Japan.

With Yamap, hikers can find out where they are without an Internet connection, essentially using GPS and data from maps to pinpoint their location. Users can also build an outdoor journal, where they use the app to keep photos of their hiking trips, that can be uploaded to the Internet as well.

Officially launched in March 2013, Yamap is said to have 260,000 downloads and 160,000 active users. Active users are said to be those that have written or viewed a journal entry, with no time period specified.

Since then, it has also started Yamap Gears, a m-commerce store for outdoor equipment, and Hyakkei, an online publication centered around outdoor adventures.

In 2013, Yamap also received $40,000 in seed funding from Samurai Incubate, a Japanese fund with its eye on early stage startups.

Deal Street Asia has reached out to Yoshi Haruyama for more details.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.