Cool Japan Fund makes SE Asia social media brand promotion bet

11, Apr. 2019

SINGAPORE, NNA - Public-private investment vehicle Cool Japan Fund Inc. will make a major investment in a Singaporean social media marketer to drive promotion of Japanese brands to Southeast Asian millennials.

The 13.5 million Singapore dollar ($10 million) investment is part of the latest fundraising drive by Clozette Pte. Ltd., an online lifestyle portal with a collective reach of about 600 million people through its around 3,500 regional social media influencers, the Japanese fund said Tuesday.

The fund, managed under the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, plans to invest in two phases, a spokesman told NNA without elaborating.

The move is aimed at linking up small and medium-sized enterprises and local governments with the Singaporean marketing company to improve the visibility of Japanese food culture and sightseeing spots.

Clozette, founded in 2010, provides lifestyle product promotion, including beauty and cosmetic wares, fashion, travel and gourmet mainly to women in their 20s and 30s in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, in addition to Singapore.

It cooperates with more than 300 brands such as Estee Lauder and Shiseido, posting over 2.4-fold year-on-year revenue growth in 2018, driven by strong performance in Indonesia, according to Cool Japan Fund.

The online portal operator plans to open a dedicated section for Japanese products and services on its website in June. It will also open an office in Japan within this year to familiarize itself with the local industry, the Cool Japan Fund spokesman said.

Cool Japan Fund says its cumulative investment has totaled 66.4 billion yen ($598 million) over a total of 31 deals since it was established in 2013.

The fund has mainly invested in Japanese companies but now puts greater emphasis on foreign firms than before in a bid to boost the development of overseas demand for Japanese products and services.

Last October, the fund participated in a $35 million fundraising by Tastemade Inc., a U.S. food, travel and lifestyle video streaming service provider boasting over 250 million monthly viewers. (NNA/Kyodo)