Appier acquires Japanese start-up

Through the purchase, Appier announced the unveiling of AiDeal, a solution for e-commerce that is expected to speed up the pace of transactions for online shoppers. (NOWnews)

TAIPEI (CNA) — Appier Inc., a Taiwan-based artificial intelligence (AI) start-up, said Tuesday that it has acquired a Japanese counterpart, with the aim of strengthening its ability to serve its clients.

In a statement, Appier said the acquisition of Japan-based Emotion Intelligence (Emin) was completed in an all-cash deal. The financial terms of the purchase were not immediately disclosed.

Through the purchase, Appier announced the unveiling of AiDeal, a solution for e-commerce that is expected to speed up the pace of transactions for online shoppers.

Yu Chih-han (游直翰), CEO and co-founder of Appier, said that when his team made the first contact with Emin, the Taiwanese suitor found that AiDeal, developed by the Japanese firm, will be one of the best solutions to facilitate online transactions.

According to Appier, Emin was set up in Tokyo in 2011 and has served more than 800 clients including well-known Japanese e-commerce operators Golf Digest Online and LOHACO.

The acquisition of Emin followed Appier’s previous acquisition of QGraph, an Indian marketing automation solution supplier, in 2018 and through the purchase, Appier launched an AI marketing platform — AIQUA — which supports multiple marketing channels to allow customers to conduct comprehensive marketing activities through a wide range of vehicles, including short text messages, websites, communication apps, and email.

Appier is described by local media as one of the most important unicorn companies in Taiwan. A unicorn is a privately owned startup that has usually been in business for fewer than 10 years but has an estimated market value of more than US$1 billion.

Appier offers a platform to facilitate real-time bidding and programmatic media buying, while providing AI, data and cross-screen targeting solutions.

Since being founded in 2012, Appier has raised more than US$80 million through three rounds of fundraising. It was the first Taiwanese start-up to receive US$6 million in funding from Silicon Valley’s Sequoia Capital.

In addition, Appier got fund injections from several global tech companies and investment companies such as SoftBank Group, LINE Corp., NAVER Corp., AMTD Group and Singapore-headquartered EDBI.

The market has paid close attention to further fundraising and even a possible move to launch an initial public offering by Appier. Yu did not respond to that, but said his company will continue to focus on its core business and devote itself to innovation.

Appier has been recognized as one of the top AI start-ups in the world.

In 2017, Appier was named by Fortune magazine as one of the 50 companies leading the AI revolution and was recognized as one of the 100 most promising private AI companies in the world by CB Insights.

In 2018, the Taiwanese start-up won the “Most Promising AI Solution” award at the NetworkWorld Asia Information Management Awards.

By Jeffrey Wu and Frances Huang