The agreement gives Jimdo exclusive rights to offer KDDI’s business clients their website creation software as part of the Japanese company’s hosting platform. The product will also be available to the Japanese consumer market under its own domain at http://jp.jimdo.com/.
Jimdo began as a product co-founders; Matthias Henze, Christian Springub and Fridtjof Detzner, offered customers as part of their consulting firm NorthClick. However, after friends persisted with requests to use the product themselves the founders offered ‘JimdoPages’ a free version of the tool.
The company have always aimed to expand the product internationally, paying careful attention to the matter during development and release – they have already released the tool in a total of 8 languages. Expansion into Asia has been carefully planned, the startup teamed up with local consulting firm Web2Asia who helped in making the deal happen.
According to a study commissioned by KDDI Web Communications, Internet adoption rates in Japan exceed 70%. However, only about 12% of all businesses have their own web domains. Jimdo look to seize on the obvious opportunity, aiming for 300,000 new Japanese JimdoFree users within the first twelve months. The company also have the 40,000 existing corporate clients that KDDI will introduce to the tool.
On face value, the startup competes head on with the likes of Weebly, Edicy, Yola and SnapPages, all very impressive tools in their own right, however none appear to have pushed as hard nor succeeded on an international scale.