TOKYO - The Innovation Network Corp. of Japan, a government-backed fund, said Wednesday it will invest in the online book sales company formed by Kinokuniya Co. and IT software house Infocity Inc. to help the company cash in on demand in Singapore and other Southeast Asian countries.
The INCJ and Kinokuniya will buy new shares worth up to 2 billion yen that the Kinokuniya-Infocity venture will float shortly, the INCJ said.
Kinokuniya apparently wants to secure a large share in the Asian market by setting up a business base in Asia before Amazon.com Inc. of the United States does so.
The venture envisions starting online sales of books and other merchandise as well as eBook operations in Singapore next year and plans to take similar steps in such markets as Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan down the track.
With four bookshops in Singapore, Kinokuniya has the biggest market share in the Asian country.
Kinokuniya is keen on benefitting from the "synergy effects" from the online business and the Kinokuniya brand backed by real-world retail outlets in Asia, a company official said.