Tokyo Office Tour: Trippiece wants you to travel differently

Tokyo Office Tour: Trippiece wants you to travel differently

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Trippiece is a Tokyo-based startup that allows you to create your travel plan and then gather friends who might be likely to take the same trip. Our readers may recall the company recently fundraised $200 million yen ($2 million) from Silicon Valley-based investment firm Draper Nexus. This followed previous seed investments from Japanese internet marketing agency Opt and incubation company Movida Japan back in 2012.

We heard that they recently relocated, so we visited them at their new office in Shibuya. We spoke to founder and CEO Ian Ishida and CFO Fumiaki Koizumi [1] about how they will enhance their business using these latest funds.

Ishida unveiled that the company will launch its first overseas office in Singapore next February, intensifying their global marketing efforts:

We currently talking to a person in Singapore, and we’ll be launching an office there early next year, naming her as its head. The new office will be located in the heart of the Asian region, which will encourage more Asian people to travel to Japan using our service. In contrast to other travel services like Meetrip or Voyagin [2], our service advises you to visit a destination you’ve never visited, instead of presenting local experiences at that destination. So in that way, we’re not competing with them.

Trippiece’s key concept is to ask locals about local business and destinations. That’s why they intend to hire local people for the new office rather than just dispatch Japanese personnel.

To help users get easy access to the service’s travel resources on mobile, the company introduced an iOS app back in August. An Android version will follow by the end of this year. The app has a feature to notify users when their favorite travel plans get a comment from other users, and it helps increases user retention.

Trippiece has also partnered with established Japanese travel agencies such as JTB and HIS to work on collaborative projects. It also recently won the Chief Secretary of Japan Tourism Agency award. According to Ishida, these results help them get their name out there and win the confidence of consumers.

As for future global expansions, they will launch an English version in February, with an interface enriched with pictures and videos to help foreign people better understand travel experiences in Japan. The Japanese government and tourism agencies are holding many showcase events around the world, such as the Japan Anime Expo, where the Trippiece will introduce their services to those who love Japanese culture and are likely to travel here.

Including Ishida and Koizumi, the company is a seven-person team in total, comprised of engineers, designers, and a certified travel service supervisor.

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Plastic model airplanes in the meeting room.
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CEO Ian Ishida admires Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe because of their same first names.

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The commemorative shield of the Chief Secretary of Japan Tourism Agency’s award.

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  1. Fumiaki Koizumi previously worked as CFO at Japanese social network service Mixi ↩
  2. Meetrip was acquired by Japanese social game developer Donuts earlier this month. Voyagin is also establishing an office in Singapore.  ↩