About MicroAd

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What MicroAd is aiming for

MicroAd aims to create platforms that make it possible for anybody to advertise in an easy way, even on a small scale—imagine platforms that can be used in a simple fashion to draw customers when a neighborhood ramen restaurant or dentist opens.

The Internet has changed many things; its history is one of both fragmentation and popularization. For example, over-the-counter sales used to be the norm for securities companies, which have now switched to online securities. Because this switch drastically reduced trading units, an enormous number of individual investors are now participating in the stock market. When Rakuten appeared, it became possible to open e-commerce shops at low costs. This has resulted in a drastic increase in the number of e-commerce shops by individual stores, as well as small to medium corporations. Similarly, many individuals can now buy and sell products online via Yahoo! Auctions.

Due to new technologies in the world of online advertising such as real-time bidding (RTB), it has also become possible to purchase advertisements in the unit of single impressions. In this way we have entered an era of fragmentation and popularization. Large waves of change will visit the advertising world in the future as well. At MicroAd, our desire is to affect the major changes and evolutions that have happened in other industries in the world of online advertising.

Overseas development

We don't engage in overseas development because we believe those markets are superior. For example, Japanese people often begin their business in Tokyo, and then open a branch in Osaka when their work expands. This is entirely natural, and nobody thinks doing so is strange. But if the branch is overseas, it is normal to be asked more questions. To many Japanese people, overseas development is still a special undertaking. However, the Internet contains no national borders, and Yahoo!, Facebook, and Twitter—which we use everyday—are actually American services.

It's foolish to question overseas development; rather, we should instead ask why Japanese Internet service companies are only carrying out business in Japan. Exemplary online services naturally come to be used in any country, and we believe it is obvious that companies creating such services should work to ensure their services are employed in various countries.

Creating our own future

During interviews and other conversations, I'm often asked, "What do you think MicroAd will be like five or 10 years in the future?" My response is always, "I don't know." Nobody can predict the future. It's difficult to foresee what will happen two years from now in the rapidly changing Internet industry, let alone five or 10 years from now. However, I can say with certainty that the Internet will be even more deeply ingrained in the daily lives of people than it is now. It is likely that the number of people who can get online will increase greatly as well. I also believe that entirely new devices will come to be widely used.

Five years from now, perhaps the main place that MicroAd transmits advertisements will be Smart TVs. Perhaps our demand-side platforms (DSPs) will be used for RTB for sign advertisements on the Shibuya 109 building. Perhaps advertisements will be transmitted to refrigerators and vending machines. We don't know how the future will turn out, but it is definitely true that the number of opportunities will be greater than today. In addition, I believe the most important thing is for us to be able to build this future ourselves.

Kentaro Watanabe, CEO

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