Automotive Division


Sojitz Establishes Joint Venture with GMO CLOUD to Enter the Connected Car-Related Business Utilizing Automotive IoT Solutions


Dec. 16, 2019

Sojitz Corporation

Dec. 16, 2019

Sojitz Corporation


Sojitz Corporation (“Sojitz”) will underwrite a capital increase through third-party allotment of shares in GMO Mobility Cloud K.K. (“GMO Mobility Cloud”), a newly established GMO spin-off company in the connected car business that utilizes IoT solutions developed under GMO Internet Group subsidiary GMO CLOUD K.K. (“GMO Cloud”).

Sojitz and GMO Cloud concluded a business alliance*1 in September 2018. Together, both companies have conducted market development of the automotive IoT solution package “LINKDrive System”—a system using after-market devices connected to the car which can analyze the condition of a user’s car to provide remote diagnostics—as well as advanced new services for passenger vehicles. In establishing this new joint venture company, Sojitz and GMO Cloud aim to strengthen and accelerate progress on connected car-related businesses.

Thanks to recent developments in IoT technologies, the auto industry is welcoming a mobility revolution known by CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared, Electrified), with widespread initiatives gaining momentum in Japan and overseas.

Sojitz has many years of experience in automotive businesses both in Japan and overseas such as car sales, finances, and so on. In addition, Sojitz is now actively pursuing new CASE business models. Going forward, Sojitz will contribute to building a prosperous mobility society through the LINKDrive business.

(※1)“GMO Cloud and Sojitz Form Business Alliance to Promote Connected Car Business Utilizing GMO Cloud’s Automotive IoT Solutions.” Sojitz Corp. Press Release, 19 Sept. 2018.

About the LINKDrive System
GMO Cloud launched the LINKDrive System in September 2017. The name refers to the integrated automotive IoT solutions package which includes the LINKDrive, smartphone app for car owners. The package includes two services listed below:

LINKDrive is a service for car owners which takes car data collected through a connector installed in the car (the LINKDrive connector) and saves it on the cloud, from which owners can use a smartphone app to visualize the condition of their car as analyzed by the system. In addition to allowing car owners to confirm driving data (driving history, fuel usage, etc.) and car condition data (need to change oil, tires, or batteries, etc.), they can also receive remote diagnostics by linking the app to a car repair shop which has installed “LINKPit by GMO,” a cloud-based scanning tool.
Using the LINKDrive Driving Milleage Program function, which earns points for the driving according to their driving distance, the car owner can also receive special offers and services from their favorite dealerships, service shops and stations.
The LINKDrive connector can be used with any private passenger vehicle*2 whether domestic or imported and regardless of manufacturer.

LINKDrive PRO by GMO is a service for automotive dealerships and service dealers which provide automotive maintenance and repair services. It allows them to check car data for customers using LINKDrive in real time, using a terminal located within their stores. This means that it uses the app to implement O2O*3 services, such as vehicle inspection-maintenance, campaign offers or promotion coupons, or other services tailored to the needs of the customer. *4 Using the LINKDrive Driving Milleage Program function, they can also award points according to customers’ driving distance, which can then be exchanged for coupons for their stores.

(※2)Passenger vehicles, small-size and mini-size passenger vehicles produced after 2008.
(※3)Short for “online to offline.” Refers to using internet-based services such as web sites and smartphone apps (online) to encourage customers to offline stores.
(※4)Shops may only browse car data and send information to customers who register their favorite shops to the app and agree to share car data with those shops.

Company Overview – GMO Mobility Cloud K.K.

Established January 6th, 2020 (planned)
Head Office Cerulean Tower, 26-1, Sakuragaokacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Capital JPY 100 million (planned)
Ownership ・GMO CLOUD K.K. -100% (as of January 6th, 2020)
・Percentage of shares to be allocated for third party allotment are expected to be determined at the general shareholders’ meeting in March 2020)
Representative Director Mitsuru Aoyama
Main Business Connected car business
Car cloud computing business

Company Overview – GMO CLOUD K.K.

Established December 1993
Head Office Cerulean Tower, 26-1, Sakuragaokacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Capital JPY 916,900,000
Ownership ・GMO Internet, Inc. -51.80%
・Other -48.20%
Mitsuru Aoyama
Main Business Cloud/hosting services, IT security, IT solutions

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