ITOCHU Announces a Capital Alliance with CaféX Commuications, Inc and Engagement in WebRTC Solution Business

December 27, 2016

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it has agreed with CaféX Communications, Inc. (headquartered in New York, New York; Rami Musallam, CEO; hereinafter “CaféX”), a US-based leading provider of WebRTC Note 1 for mobile and web platforms, that it will acquire shares in CaféX through a private placement and will form a capital and business alliance for the expansion of its Customer Communication Solution Business utilizing WebRTC. At the same time, ITOCHU will also conclude a general sales agent agreement covering CaféX products in Asia-Pacific region(Note 2 , promoting the global expansion strategy of CaféX.

To communicate with customers, we have had to install dedicated software or applications into customer devices to enable video phone and chat. The difficult of introduction has prevented widespread use. However, since the WebRTC solution is communication through a web browser and no installation on devices is required, easier and smoother communication with customers is available. In 2015, the size of the WebRTC market in Asia-Pacific region was 6.3 billion yen, and is expected to grow rapidly, increasing by a factor of about seven to 43.9 billion yen in 2020. This is an area set to experience continued growth going forward.(Note 3)

CaféX began providing the WebRTC solution in 2013 so that the contact centers of companies can expand from phone-based to mobile/web-based services. The solution has seen remarkable growth in the international market. The main product, Live Assist®, is easier and more efficient to build into existing systems than are the products of other companies. One of the main features of Live Assist® is that it reduces development time, and as such it has been introduced by leading banks, major insurance companies, credit card companies, and other institutions in the United States.

Live Assist® has also been introduced in Japan, where it is highly valued in a variety of industries such as finance, manufacturing, retail, and real estate/hotels. It is used for instance to replace the support service at bank teller windows, and is also found at car dealers with online video communication. It has also been adopted by manufacturers and retailers as it can provide detailed visual information of products, something that is difficult to do over the phone.

ITOCHU is using its network across the Asia-Pacific region to expand beyond Japan into this region. This capital alliance with CaféX and the conclusion of an agreement for a general sales agent in the Asia-Pacific region are designed to further entrench ITOCHU’s presence in the growing WebRTC market in APAC, by expanding into countries and regions such as China, where web-based services are burgeoning, as well as ASEAN, while striving to improve the quality of service.

(Note 1) WebRTC (Web Real Time Communication) is an open source technology for voice chat, video chat, and file-swapping between web browsers without a plugin.
(Note 2) Asia-Pacific region including China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, Singapore, and Malaysia (excluding Japan). In Japan, ITOCHU also sells CaféX products as a sales agent.
(Note 3) (Source) Mind Commerce “Web Real-time Communications: WebRTC Software, Applications, Services, Solutions, and Devices Market with Global and Regional Forecast 2015-2020”
※Live Assist® is a trademark of CaféX Communications, Inc.

CaféX Communications, Inc.

Headquarters 521 Fifth Avenue, Suite 822, New York, NY 10175
Representative Rami Musallam, CEO
Incorporated September 2013
Main Business Provision of WebRTC solution