Japan’s Showcase Gig secures series A funding, starts nationwide operations



See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based digital marketing startup Showcase Gig, the startup behind ‘O:der’ (apparently pronounced ‘order’), announced today that it has raised funds from Nissay Capital and Nippon Venture Capital. The exact details of the funding were not disclosed but we understand that the amount is in the millions (US dollars).

According to the startup’s CEO Takefumi Nitta, this is series A funding to follow their angel round secured at the company’s began back in February of 2012.

Since the launch of O:der back in July, the company has been providing a suite of CRM solutions for small-sized retailers, comprising of two iOS apps, one for consumers and the other for merchants. The consumer app has a mobile wallet feature that lets you pay by credit card before picking up a product at the shop. Nitta told us they have implemented their solutions at 25 stores to date, and they expected to expand to 50 stores by the end of February.

They’ve taken their time to carefully select stores to implement their solution. About 70% of their initial users have used the tool more than twice, which convinced them that it was a solid CRM tool for small businesses. With the funds raised this time around, the company plans to expand their operations beyond Tokyo prefecture. Nitta adds:

Rather than expanding our business, we are currently focusing on validating our product with stores that are more conscious about digital technologies for retail sales. In addition to small independent stores, we’d like to acquire larger store chains to use our solutions in the future.

Our readers may recall that he has been involved in notable offline businesses too, producing Tokyo Girls Collection, one of the country’s biggest fashion events, and mixiXmas, a campaign run by Mixi.