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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Visual Bank" was founded and raised a total of 2.1 billion yen! At the same time, Amana Images becomes a subsidiary of 100%.

Visual Bank, founded on the management principle of "creating a society where the value of Japanese creations is maximized and optimized," has raised a total of 2.1 billion yen in funding. At the same time, Visual Bank acquired all shares of Amana Images, a company that has consistently sold high-quality photos, illustrations, and video materials since its establishment in 1984, making it a wholly owned subsidiary.

Background of Establishment

Visual Bank" was founded with the aim of creating a society in which the value of creations is maximized and optimized, with the company's raison d'etre as "Behind the scenes of creativity.

By producing services that support the creativity unleashed in the world as a "black child", we will create businesses that connect "cultural value" and "economic value".

Background of the Amana Images Acquisition and Future Initiatives

Amana Images has been in the stock photo business for 38 years, taking care of and protecting the creations of photographers, illustrators, and other copyright holders, and bringing them to users who are looking for high-quality materials.

In the video domain, we can say that we have been a pioneer in creating businesses that connect "cultural value" and "economic value.

The company's business model is characterized by a mechanism that enables "free trading of high-quality copyrighted works under a range of conditions (price, use, term, etc.) authorized by copyright holders and other parties.

In the future, we will utilize and develop this mechanism to produce services that can contribute to the organization of complicated rights relationships that arise during transactions, the archiving of creations, and their subsequent capitalization.

Acquisition Structure and Financing

This initiative is also a form of "Entrepreneurship through acquisition (ETA)," in which a company is founded and acquired at the same time.

Among ETAs, this is the first structure in Japan to originate a Self-Funded search model, which enables a shareholder structure in which management's shareholding retains majority ownership to promote medium- to long-term growth.

The underwriters of the financing, by attribute, are as follows

Venture Capital
Incubate Fund, one of the largest venture capital firms in Japan; W fund, a venture capital firm specializing in the "to C" market; and Headline Asia, a global venture capital firm focused on Asia.

Operating Company / CVC
Fuji Startup Ventures (FSV), operated by Fuji Media Holdings, Inc.; Watanabe Entertainment, Inc., an entertainment agency; and PayForward, in which Synergy Marketing founder Tanii and others are principal investors.

Individual investors
Masaki Yoshida, Chairman of Watanabe Entertainment, Yoshitsune Ido, Founder of ANKER JAPAN, Mansyo Kinoshita, Founder of Southgate Law Offices, Kenichi Nakao, Founder of FROSK, Takeshi Higi, Founder of Welby, Takeshi Fujikawa, Yuki Akabori

Lending Banks
Mizuho Bank, Ltd.

Amana Images, Inc. and its Acquisition of Amana Images, Inc.

(Headquarters: Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo; President and Group CEO: Hironobu Shindo), the transferee of Amana Images, Inc., will continue to collaborate with Amana as an important partner in the creative domain, and continue a strong relationship as a partner in a wide range of areas beyond the sale of stock materials. We will continue our strong relationship as a partner in a wide range of areas, not limited to sales of stock materials.

Corporate Logo / Mark

New corporate logo / Corporate logo mark

The logo is composed of Roman type, a prestigious and traditional typeface that gives a solid and timeless impression.

The logo mark is shaped from the initial letter "V," with the left side Roman and the right side linear, expressing a more innovative future.

Furthermore, by interrupting the "V" shape midway to become a perfect inverted triangle shape, it expresses continued evolution and growth.

Management Career

Yuta Numazawa
Representative Director, Visual Bank K.K.
Representative Director and CEO, Amana Images, Inc.

He graduated from Aoyama Gakuin University in 2012. After working at Rakuten, Inc. he joined Crocos, Inc. and transferred to Crocos when it merged with its parent company Yahoo Japan Corporation in 2014, where he promoted M&A and due diligence services, focusing on overseas companies, and was involved in the establishment of BuzzFeed Japan K.K., a joint venture with the US web media company BuzzFeed. a joint venture with BuzzFeed, Inc.

In 2016, he participated in the management of Weekday Inc. which operates one of the largest street snap media in Japan, "Droptokyo" and "The Fashion Post", by purchasing the founder's equity as an individual, and became a director.

In 2018, he spun off droptokyo and The Fashion Post, respectively, and became CEO and Representative Director. He led business restructuring, fundraising, and global expansion, etc. In 2019, he sold his stake in the company to Nippon Television Network Corporation.

In April 2022, he established Numazawa, Iizuka, and Nagai for Kimberley ("NINK") with Fumitaka Iizuka and Masayuki Nagai, and assumed the position of Representative Director. NINK raised a total of 2.1 billion yen in funding and acquired all shares of Amana Images Inc. from Amana Inc. in May of the same year. In June of the same year, he was appointed CEO and Representative Director of Amana Images Inc. At the end of September of the same year, the trade name of NINK was changed to Visual Bank Co.

Born in Tokyo in 1990. Raised by a photographer grandfather, a painter grandmother, and a sound designer father, he had many contacts with "creators" who excelled in their craft. In the process of growing up, he became keenly aware of the challenges faced by "creators" who struggle to devote sufficient time to creating essential value due to inefficiencies in their work. In order to solve the problems that exist between "creators" and "users" of next-generation creations, he founded Visual Bank Corporation (formerly NINK). He inherited the ideas of President Hironobu Shindo, a photographer and founder of the Amana Group, along with the 38-year history of the Amana Images business.

Fumitaka Iizuka
Director, Visual Bank K.K.
Director, Amana Images Corporation

After graduating from Keio University Faculty of Law in 2012, he joined Mitsubishi Corporation. For nine years, he worked in the Automotive Business Division, where he was engaged in a wide range of activities typical of a general trading company, including trading, business investment management, and business management.

In 2015, he studied culture and language at the University of Indonesia as a company-sponsored global trainee, and in 2017, he was transferred to Krama Yudha Tiga Berlain Motors (KTB) in Indonesia, a joint venture between Mitsubishi Corporation, Daimler Truck Asia, and Krama Yudha, immediately after a period of capital restructuring. In 2017, he was transferred to Krama Yudha Tiga Berlain Motors (KTB), a joint venture between Mitsubishi Corporation, Daimler Truck Asia, and Krama Yudha, where he was in charge of the Marketing Communication and After Sales departments, leading KTB's business during its restructuring period. He will return to Japan in 2019 to engage in business management of MC's portfolio companies in Southeast Asia and retire from MC in 2021.

In April 2022, he established NINK (now Visual Bank) with Numazawa and Nagai and became a director. In May of the same year, he acquired all shares of Amana Images Inc. from Amana Inc. In June of the same year, he became a director of Amana Images Inc.

Born in Tokyo in 1989. He spent part of his childhood and career in New York, USA, where he experienced the tremendous support and trust for Japanese creations from overseas. He founded Visual Bank K.K. (formerly NINK), embodying a new form of entrepreneurship, in order to provide a new startup option in the Japanese startup ecosystem. He aims to create new services through this unprecedented self-funded search model.

About Visual Bank, Inc.

name of companyVisual Bank K.K.
Amana Images acquired Numazawa, Iizuka, and Nagai for Kimberley Inc. and renamed it Visual Bank Inc. at the end of September 2022.
establishmentApril 1, 2022
LocationSetagaya Ward, Tokyo
representativeYuta Numazawa (Representative Director)
Business OverviewA business that connects "cultural value" and "economic value" in general. Operation of Amana Images Inc.
uniform resouce locatorhttps://visual-bank.co.jp/

About Amana Images Corporation

name of companyAmana Images Corporation
EstablishmentOctober 1984
Location2-2-43, Higashi-Shinagawa 2-chome, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
representativeYuta Numazawa (CEO and Representative Director)
Business OverviewSince its establishment, the company has consistently operated one of the largest stock material sales sites in Japan, Amana Images, selling 120 million high-quality photos, illustrations, videos, and other materials.
In addition, a team of video copyright professionals provides extensive support to companies and creators for the sale and purchase of materials and proposals.
uniform resouce locatorhttps://amanaimages.com/about/
Amanaimages.com, a stock photo sales sitehttp://amanaimages.com/

History of Amana Images Corporation

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