SunBridge Global Ventures Invested in MetroWorks, a Company Enabling Low Cost High-Quality Crowdsourcing Website Production

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The global seed accelerator SunBridge Global Ventures Inc. has announced that it has completed investment in MetroWorks, Inc. through the SunBridge Startups LLP run by SunBridge GV affiliates. MetroWorks enables low cost, high-quality crowdsourcing websites production through the use of crowdsourcing portal development software with quality management capabilities.

SunBridgeGV

The global seed accelerator SunBridge Global Ventures Inc. (Head office: Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo, Japan, President & CEO: Ikuo Hiraishi, henceforth “SunBridge GV”) has announced that it has completed investment in MetroWorks, Inc. (Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan; CEO: Neil Butler; henceforth MetroWorks) through the SunBridge Startups LLP (Head office: Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo, Japan, Partner: Ikuo Hiraishi, henceforth “SunBridge Startups LLP”) run by SunBridge GV affiliates. MetroWorks enables low cost, high-quality crowdsourcing (public participation) websites production through the use of crowdsourcing portal development software with quality management capabilities. This business was devised by MetroWorks’ COO, Terrie Lloyd, a serial entrepreneur who has so far set up 18 enterprises as well as sold 7 companies.

In order to maintain good balance between the volume and the quality of crowdsourcing website contents, many individuals playing a variety of roles such as content managers, editors, writers, photographers and translators are required. In 2011, MetroWorks developed AtsumareCQ, crowdsourcing contents development software with quality management capabilities. By using this, contents managers, editors, writers, photographers, translators and specialists, etc. involved in contents production can be managed on a scale of hundreds to thousands, and even in cases when a company lacks personnel, information source or materials, mass-production of contents is possible through the large number of external participants.

AtsumareCQ also incorporates systems which conduct multi-layer checks on articles by ordinary participants who may not be specialists in contents or contents production, technology which automatically checks the text (patent pending) as well as systems which evaluate member abilities, enabling content quality management without cost.

Furthermore, it is a barter system in which incentives to participants are provided through products and services granted through the advertisers of the crowdsourcing websites, hence allowing contents to be continually produced with no cost for incentivising.

Of the crowdsourcing websites utilizing AtsumareCQ, the very first - an English language travel website JapanTourist.jp aimed at tourists visiting Japan - has been launched since November 2011 and is continuing to grow smoothly with over 910 writers from 37 prefectures under its wing, and attaining 3,210 articles, 20,320 photos as well as traffic of more than 300,000 PV /month (as of end of February 2013).

The structure is optimal for allowing magazines and publishing companies considering expansion into the online markets and enterprises requiring low cost high-quality contents production to develop and operate attractive crowdsourcing websites with a balance in volume and quality. Currently under consideration is an expansion, going forward, into various types of genres including travel, pet and health through cooperation with enterprises such as publishers and website publishers as well as governing bodies.

This internationally diverse team with members from New Zealand and France, etc., lead by Australian Neil Butler, is not only focused on Japan but has in its sights overseas development, and plans a global development with a focus on non-English speaking countries, starting with east Asian countries - China, Taiwan and South Korea - as well as South East Asia, India and the Middle East among other regions.

SunBridge Startups is a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) established through investment from SunBridge GV affiliates in June 2011. With three themes - “Go Global”, “Global Cloud Platfom” and “Innovation Weekend Winner” – as its pillars, it promotes the discovery and development of global ventures originating in Japan.

[ Metro Works, Inc. ]
Company Name: MetroWorks, Inc . http:// http://metroworks.co.jp/
Location:         4th Floor Roppongi OG Building, 1-3-4 Nishiazabu, Minato-ku Tokyo, Japan
Established:     May 17, 2010
Representative: CEO Neil Butler

[ SunBridge Global Ventures Inc. ]
SunBridge Global Ventures supports young entrepreneurs following the three major trends of smartphones, social media and cloud computing by providing them know-how cultivated in the past 10 years under the name of SunBridge Global Venture Habitat. Startups invested in so far include salesforce.com, Macromill, OKWave, ITMedia and istyle.

Company Name: SunBridge Global Ventures Inc. http://en.sunbridge-gv.jp/
Location:         1-5-5, Ebisu-Minami, Tokyo, Japan
Established:     January 5th 2012
Capital:         52,640,000 Yen (Paid-in capital 52,640,000 Yen)
Representative: President & CEO Ikuo Hiraishi
Field of Business: Internet startup investment and foreign expansion support

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Eriko Takeda

Ikuo Hiraishi/Narimasa Makino
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