TOKYO -- Japanese online ad startup popIn is making a full-scale foray into South Korea and Taiwan as part of its overseas expansion drive.
Based in Tokyo's Bunkyo Ward, popIn began life at the University of Tokyo. It is now a subsidiary of Baidu, the biggest search engine in China and the second-biggest in the world behind Google.
PopIn's technology measures how long articles and ads are viewed. The company has been pitching its service abroad in partnership with Baidu's Japanese subsidiary.
The startup is establishing business footholds in South Korea and Taiwan to capitalize on anticipated growth in demand in Asia, where online ads are proliferating.
With a presence in other Asian markets, the company will be able to respond more quickly to local customers. It has set a target of boosting the percentage of overseas sales to 10-20% of its overall sales within one year.
PopIn plans to set up a local office in Taiwan in May after establishing a local subsidiary in South Korea at the end of March. Through the new business footholds, popIn will step up its marketing and sales efforts in those markets.
Several popIn employees will be permanently stationed in South Korea. PopIn's unique technology has already been introduced by at least 43 media sites in South Korea and 80 in Taiwan.
PopIn's technology estimates the time it takes for a person to read an online article or ad using a smartphone or other devices, based on the number of characters. It then measures how long the article or ad was displayed on the screen and calculates how much of it was actually read.
With the growth of online ads and mobile-friendly websites, popIn's technology has been adopted by newspapers and online media outlets in South Korea, Taiwan and Japan.
PopIn is now conducting joint research with Baidu on ways to improve the accuracy of their measurements.
In February, popIn added the function of determining which images have been viewed, among other things, with the help of Baidu's artificial intelligence-based image recognition technology.
By offering a higher value-added service, popIn plans to expand beyond South Korea and Taiwan and into other increasingly promising Asian markets in the future.