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Dentsu Announces Its Corporate Venture Capital Fund Dentsu Ventures Investment in U.S. "Cloud-First" Smartphone Development Startup Nextbit

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September 15, 2015

Dentsu Inc. (Tokyo: 4324; ISIN: JP3551520004; President & CEO: Tadashi Ishii; Head Office: Tokyo; Capital: 74,609.81 million yen) announced today that Dentsu Ventures Global Fund I (hereinafter "Dentsu Ventures"), the Company's corporate venture capital fund, has made an investment in Nexbit Systems Inc. (Head Office: San Francisco; CEO: Tom Moss; hereinafter "Nextbit"), a U.S. startup developing cloud-integrated services for smart devices from both the hardware and software perspectives.

Dentsu Ventures was established in April of this year with the objectives of investing in ambitious start-up companies that will create an as yet unseen future and furthering open innovation across the Dentsu Group through collaboration with investees. In addition to funding, Dentsu Ventures will support businesses and entrepreneurs by providing problem-solving solutions and resources that are unique to the Group. Nextbit is the third company in which Dentsu Ventures has invested.

On September 1, Nextbit announced Robin, a "cloud-first" smartphone that enables synchronized cloud storage of music, videos, apps, photos and other high-volume data without any user action required. The crowdfunding campaign for the Robin smartphone was launched the same day, and the US$500,000 goal was reached within a matter of hours. Nextbit is pushing mobile computing forward with the introduction of innovative software and hardware that solves important user problems such as running out of local storage space on smart devices.

As smart devices continue to diversify, Dentsu Ventures believes that real-time data integration and linking across devices together with the development and provision of unprecedented user experiences that optimize this capability will become increasingly important. Nextbit's innovative technology will offer smart device users an entirely new type of cloud service in this Internet of Things era.

Looking ahead, the Dentsu Group will provide support for the spread of the Robin smartphone worldwide as well as the other new businesses that Nextbit will develop in the future.


Profile of Nextbit

Company Name:                            Nextbit Systems Inc.

Location:                                        San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

Representative:                              Tom Moss (CEO)

Number of Employees:                  23

Line of Business:                            Development and sales of cloud-integrated smart devices



Profile of Dentsu Ventures

Name:                                            Dentsu Ventures Global Fund I

Total Fund Capital:                         Five billion yen

Date of Establishment:                   April 2015

Period of Operation:                       Seven-year period from April 2015 until March 2022

Investment Regions:                      Global investments with a focus on the U.S., Europe and Asia

Investment Stages:                        Balanced, wide-ranging investments with the focus on seed and early stage investments, but also including mid-stage and later-stage investments

Investment Areas:                          (1)   Areas that can change the marketing and communication business in a broad sense

                                                      (2)   New areas other than the above that have a high potential for innovation




Media-related enquiries:         Shusaku Kannan
            Corporate Communications Director
            Telephone: (813) 6216-8042

Investment-related enquiries:    Dentsu Ventures



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