Japanese corporate communication platform Talknote raises $2 million



See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Talknote, the startup behind the corporate communication platform of the same name, announced today it has raised 200 million yen (approximately $2 million) from Japanese investment company Lead Capital Management. Prior to this funding, it had raised an undisclosed sum of investment from CyberAgent Ventures back in March of 2012.

The platform was initially launched as an instant messaging tool for restaurants back in February of 2010, but switched to become a corporate communication platform for businesses in general back in June of 2011. It had over 5,000 corporate users as of last March, but since then its growth has accelerated surpassing 10,000 accounts this month (see chart below).

We asked the Talknote founder and CEO, Haruo Koike, about their possible exit options, and he explained:

We obviously aim for an IPO exit. A merger or acquisition will be not included in our options. Google Apps has 5 million corporate users worldwide, and Kanjo Bugyo (Japan’s dominant corporate accounting software) has 500,000 users. This space is fiercely competitive and not many platforms can survive. But I think the ones that stand out can grow to such a level.

The company has plans to enhance its messaging feature enabling users to communicate with their clients as well as their colleagues. He added:

We think a communication platform for colleagues is the only first step of our concept. We will introduce an API and encourage other developers to integrate it with their systems. For example, this may enable users to share their daily sales updates with their employees, which can be done automatically every day.

Talknote is expecting to acquire 100,000 corporate users in the next three years.