Things change quickly in the IT industry, and corporate acquisitions take place frequently. In this article, we’ll take a look at Japanese IT companies engaging in mergers and acquisitions of overseas companies.
Acquisition of Eureka by The Match Group
First, let’s look at the acquisition of Eureka Japan by The Match Group in the US, announced in May 2015.
Listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange, the Match Group is an IT company under the umbrella of the IAC Group in the US. The Match Group globally operates matchmaking and dating sites aimed at all age groups, including Match.com, Tinder, and OkCupid, and has even established SNS such as Ask and About.com. and video sites such as vimeo.
Eureka is a Japanese IT company that operates the online dating service, Pairs, and the SNS site, Couples, for couples. Pairs started operation in October of 2012, and by May of 2016 it had over 4 million members. Released in 2014, Couples now has 4.5 million members. It could be called the leading dating site in Japan.
The reason IAC acquired Eureka was probably to penetrate the Asian market. Eureka has deployed Pairs and Couples in Asia, and IAC probably made the purchase with the intent to obtain staff and important know-how in mind.
The acquisition of Tonight by HotelQuickly
The next acquisition is the acquisition of Tonight by HotelQuickly announced on February 2016.
Operating services mainly in Asia, HotelQuickly is a Hong Kong company that provides a hotel reservation system.
As the name implies, Tonight is an app for searching for a hotel for the night and operated under the umbrella of GREE in Japan.
Based on feedback from users of HotelQuickly, Japan is listed as one of the Top 3 countries people would like to visit, and, thanks to the relaxation of Japanese visa policies, and decreasing travel costs to Japan from Asian nations due to the development of LCC, the hurdles to be jumped for traveling to Japan also probably spurred the acquisition of Tonight.
The purchase of Tonight ranks Japan as the 16th market to join HotelQuickly, and adds 400 new hotels to their lineup. Penetration into Japan by acquiring Tonight was an highly practical decision because HotelQuickly can increase the number of places that a user can choose to stay the night in a popular area like Japan.
Based on these examples, mergers and acquisitions for the purpose of joining new markets are quite common in the IT industry.