[NEW YORK] Israel’s iWeb Technologies is joining a growing
number of Israeli firms aiming to expand into the Japanese market. The
company announced a joint venture with Tokyo-based ad giant Dentsu.
The deal’s architects hope to introduce iWeb’s iNotes messaging technology
to Japanese ISPs and Web publishers.
iNotes enables standalone, desktop applications that download information
without requiring users to go through lengthy software installations. The firm
positions these small applications as a way for companies to communicate
easily with consumers.
Typical uses include streaming content feeds like stock quotes or providing
secure access to bank or merchant accounts. In addition, ISP’s can use the
application to diversify their revenue streams by serving ads directly with their
customers, no matter what Web pages the user is visiting.
iNotes clients include U.K. ISP Freeserve Plc. and U.S. sweepstakes site
“To successfully reach users in today’s Internet market, you must find
technologies that enable you to deliver the right information, to the right user,
at the right time,” said Dentsu executive officer Toshitaka Shimojo. “iNotes’
user-friendly technology does this very effectively by reaching the user’s
desktop automatically, whenever they are online, and independent of the Web
site they are currently viewing.”
Another partner in the deal is Softbank Media and Marketing, a firm that for
some time has been instrumental in bringing U.S. companies into Japan under
joint ventures. In late September, Softbank teamed with ad-sponsored surfing
firm AllAdvantage to spin out that company’s services in Japan.
Other investors in the iWeb deal include Dentsu’s online venture capital unit
Dentsu.com and Japanese online media buyer cyber communications.
Some industry watchers expect the standalone application to become a hot
way for companies to communicate with users, with several other
Web-to-desktop startups – like Silicon Alley-based Droplet Inc and Mountain
Valley, Calif.’s DoDots – aiming to capitalize on the trend.
“iNotes is the kind of technology that can revolutionize the way information is
delivered over the Internet,” said cci chief executive Toshio Arai. “Today,
users must go to a specific Web site to view information, but with iNotes, that
same information can be proactively sent directly to the user, no matter what
Web site they are currently viewing.”
“We believe that with the combination of our unique technology, along with
Dentsu’s unquestioned leadership and proven experience in the Japanese
business arena, Softbank’s vast experience in the technology market, and
cci’s unique position in the Internet arena, will prove to be a winning
partnership for all,” said iWeb president and CEO Kobi Samboursky.
iWeb’s founders are Israeli, and its research and development is done in