Tokyo-based Luxa, the startup running a members-only discount e-commerce platform, has announced today that it has raised 330 million yen ($3.3 million) from KDDI Open Innovation Fund, the fund operated by Japanese telco KDDI. Prior to this funding, the company raised a total of investment worth over $10 million from Japanese investment company Jafco. Coinciding with these new funds, Luxa plans to provide limited-offer discounts to mobile subscribers via au SmartPass, the telco’s flat-rate app subscription program.
Since its initial launch back in August of 2010, the website has acquired over 450,000 members, mostly people in their 30s and 40s. Their products are wide-ranging, with a heavy slant towards cosmetics and appliances.
The company claims that its smartphone access ratio has risen from 8% to 35%, which indicates a rapid transition of users from desktop to mobile both in revenue and traffic . With this new partnership with KDDI, the startup expects to boost its user base to 4.5 million by the end of 2016.
KDDI also revealed that it has invested in iRidge, the startup behind an O2O (online-to-offline) solution using mobile geolocation and notification features. The investment sum was undisclosed.
This year, the telco has invested in several other e-commerce startups, including Origami and Monoco. This indicates how the company plans to leverage its huge user base, developing an entirely new revenue stream, making it more than a conventional dumb pipe business.
- From January of 2012 to September of 2013.↩