GMO Cloud and Sojitz Form Business Alliance to Promote Connected Car Business Utilizing GMO Cloud’s Automotive IoT Solutions

GMO Cloud and Sojitz Form Business Alliance to Promote Connected Car Business
Utilizing GMO Cloud’s Automotive IoT Solutions

On Wednesday, September 19th, GMO Internet Group subsidiary GMO Cloud K.K. (Head Office: Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director: Mitsuru Aoyama; “GMO Cloud”) and Sojitz Corporation (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director: Masayoshi Fujimoto; “Sojitz”) concluded an agreement for a business alliance to work on a connected car business utilizing automotive IoT solutions developed by GMO Cloud.

The companies will work together to develop new services and markets both in Japan and abroad, for GMO Cloud’s integrated automotive IoT solution package (“LINKDrive System”). The package includes GMO Cloud’s LINKDRIVE by GMO (“LINKDrive”), a smartphone app which automatically analyzes the condition of a user’s car to provide remote diagnostics. The companies also hope to establish a joint venture in the future, to further develop their connected car-related business.

Through these efforts, the companies will contribute to the advancement of the automotive industry and create a safer, more convenient world through the widespread adoption of connected cars.

【Background & Overview】

As IoT technologies continue to develop, the automotive industry worldwide has seen a wide variety of initiatives utilizing IoT. Although the idea of a “connected car”–that is, a car connected to the internet–has been used primarily to ensure safe driving and manage transport of work vehicles, the industry has recently seen more and more private passenger vehicles equipped with connected car capabilities and growth of related services.

This led GMO Cloud to develop their integrated IoT solutions package “LinkDRIVE System,” which uses a connector attached to the car post-production to turn private passenger vehicles and a wider variety of vehicle types into connected cars capable of automatically analyzing car condition and providing remote diagnostics. They began sales of the LINKDrive System in September 2017.

Meanwhile, as a company which has already established automotive businesses around the world using its widespread corporate network, Sojitz has been shoring up its efforts to develop a global business using automotive IoT technologies.

The two companies have now concluded an agreement for a business alliance to work on a connected car business utilizing the LINKDrive System, in order to contribute to the advancement of the automotive industry and develop a safe, reliable, and convenient connected car service which can support drivers’ lifestyles.

The companies will use this business alliance to develop markets for the LINKDrive System in Japan and abroad, as well as work together to develop new services while openly working to link the system and services with related automotive service providers. They also hope to establish a joint venture in the future, to further develop their connected car-related business.

【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, an IoT smartphone app specifically for car owners. The package includes the three services 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 provider which has installed “LINKPit by GMO,” a cloud-based scanning tool.
Using the Driving Rewards 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, mechanics, and service stations.
The LINKDrive connector can be used with any private passenger vehicle(*1) whether domestic or imported and regardless of manufacturer.

LINKDrive PRO by GMO is a service for businesses which sell automobiles or provide automotive support 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(*2) services, such as campaign offers or coupons for car inspections, maintenance, or other services tailored to the needs of the customer(*3). Using the Kurumaireji function, they can also award points according to customers’ driving distance, which can then be exchanged for coupons for their stores.

LINKPit by GMO is a cloud-based scanning tool for automotive repair and maintenance providers. It enables service providers to conduct a full diagnostic scan of vehicles–an essential part of car maintenance–using a tablet app. They can also conduct a remote diagnostic scan over the internet for any vehicle equipped with the LINKDrive connector.

(※1)Private passenger vehicles, small-size passenger vehicles, and Japanese keisha sold after 2008.
(※2)Short for “online to offline.” Refers to using internet-based services such as web sites and smartphone apps (online) to encourage customers to visit brick-and-mortar stores (offline).
(※3)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.

About Sojitz Corporation
Sojitz Corporation is a general trading company developing a wide range of businesses in countries and regions around the world, with a consolidated group comprising approximately 400 consolidated companies in Japan and abroad. They operate a diverse portfolio of global businesses whose functions include manufacturing, sales, services, project design/coordinating, investment, and finance, in industries encompassing automobiles, aerospace, marine vessels, IT/communications, transportation infrastructure, manufacturing plants, energy, metals, mineral resources, chemicals, foods, forest products, consumer goods, and real estate. For more information please visit

About GMO Cloud KK
GMO Cloud K.K. (TSE: 3788) is a full-service IT infrastructure provider focused on cloud solutions. Established as a hosting company in 1996, the company has managed servers for more than 130,000 businesses and now has 6,000 sales partners throughout Japan. In February of 2011, the company launched GMO Cloud to enhance its focus on cloud-based solutions. Since 2007, the company has also grown its GlobalSign SSL security brand through offices in Belgium, U.K., U.S., China and Singapore. Additionally, GMO Cloud started their IoT business in 2017, providing their service “IoT navi by GMO.” It supports automotive IoT development and helps create IoT businesses through a free-of-charge consulting service.For more information please visit

GMO Internet Group
GMO Internet Group is an Internet services industry leader, developing and operating Japan’s most widely used domain, hosting & cloud, ecommerce, security, and payment solutions. The Group also comprises the world’s largest online FX trading platform, as well as online advertising, Internet media, and mobile entertainment products. GMO Internet, Inc. (TSE: 9449) is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. For more information please visit

Back to list