Softbank, SmartAge.com JV Looks to Japan's Small Businesses
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The SmartAge Japan Corp. will launch its sites in April and will offer online tools to help small business incorporate the Internet as a means of expanding revenue. SmartAge's free ad banner exchange service will also be brought along in the deal.
Bill Lohse, founder of SmartAge and previous Softbank employee, expressed his excitement at rolling out SmartAge's first international site.
The two companies also pointed to IDC research which forecasts the doubling of Japan's online population, from 9.1 million this year to 2.3 billion in 2003. Softbank President and CEO Ken Miyauchi also indicated that the marketplace is ripe, with the growth of the small business sector in Japan on the rise.