Tokyo-based Handsshare, the startup behind construction industry-focused job matching platform Tsukulink, announced today that it has fundraised about 50 million yen (about $500,000) from Japanese investment firm Nissay Capital.
The platform lists jobs like those of skilled laborers in the construction industry such as carpenters, builders and the like for corporate and individual construction developers. Since its beta launch in May 2013, the company has acquired about 650 developers and lists about 300 construction projects.
While the platform is something like a bulletin board, the company will use the funds to develop the platform so that participating construction developers can use it to market to potential customers. I’ve known the platform for some time, and I initially thought that it would be difficult to monetize it because many people in such industries as food, retailing, and construction are digitally challenged.
However, Tsukulink CEO Minoru Saito launched this business because resources and workloads are not appropriately allocated and he wanted to improve the situation. Co-founder Tatsuo Uchiyama knows this fact very well because he’s been working as a steeplejack for over ten years. Saito explained:
Uchiyama’s friend and fellow construction worker died of overwork. While some people break down from overwork, others suffer from a lack of work and have to find part-time work to make a living.
He told us that the growing penetration of smart phones has helped improve the use of digital tools in this industry because a smart phone is easier to use than a PC.
I think the digitalization of labor industries will be a major trend in the next few years, because we’ve seen good examples of it like Toreta (restaurant), LeNet (laundry), Raksul (printing), and Cyta.jp (private schools).