Adtech startup AnyMind on Monday said that it acquired the marketing firm Engawa from the Japanese Sunny Side Up Group, improving its footprint in the direct-to-consumer (D2C) space.
AnyMind co-founder and CEO Kosuke Sogo told KrASIA that Engawa has a network of 700 manufacturers of Japanese foods and brands that they can tap into. The company also owns and operates the English language lifestyle magazine Tokyo Weekender. “We’re looking to be the leader in Japan for cross-border marketing,” Sogo said.
For AnyMind it’s the seventh acquisition or major investment, the fourth in Japan. It previously incorporated publisher trading desk FourM, influencer network Grove, and direct-to-consumer brand Lyft, along with Hong Kong-based Acqua Media, Thai influencer network Moindy, and India-based Pokkt Mobile Ads.
AnyMind entered the D2C service with the takeover of Japanese sports apparel brand Lyft in March of last year. In May, it launched its cloud manufacturing service called AnyFactory that connects individuals and businesses with factories across Asia. Influencers can use the resource to produce merchandise for their own brands, which they can later sell in their online stores on AnyShop. The entire production process will take around 3 to 6 months.
Sogo said that AnyMind now has close to 200,000 influencers that are accessible to clients. As per December, the firm has launched the brands for 12 of its influencers, with plans to increase the number to 23 by end of this month.
“Even though this is quite different from when we started the business in 2016, doubling down on D2C will help us achieve the objective of becoming the infrastructure of next-generation businesses,” Sogo said. “The D2C space is very exciting, and I believe that it will grow even more in the coming year.”
Singapore-based AnyMind was founded by Sogo and Otohiko Kozutsumi. To date, the company has raised USD 62.3 million in capital from investors that include Line, Mirai Creation Fund, VGI, Japan Post Capital, and Jafco Asia. AnyMind operates in 13 markets, including most of Southeast Asia, China, Japan, India, and the United Arab Emirates.