Japanese e-commerce platform Base raises $3M from Global Brain

Base CEO Yuta Tsuruoka

See the original story in Japanese.

Base, the Japanese startup behind the e-commerce platform of the same name, announced today that it has fundraised 300 million yen (or about $3 million) from Japanese investment firm Global Brain. Coinciding with this announcement, Global Brain’s Kazuhiko Fukayama has joined the company’s board and East Ventures‘ Takanori Oshiba was appointed as an auditor for the e-commerce company. In addition, the company also announced that former GMO Pepapo executive Hiroto Shin will also join the board as COO. Shin is perhaps best known for launching the e-commerce business Color Me Shop at his previous company.

According to Base CEO Yuta Tsuruoka, this funding was planned prior to their previous $2 million funding from CyberAgent. So they’ve succeeded in raising around $5 million as initially planned.

Tsuruoka tells us that they have acquired more than 80,000 merchants to date. That’s an impressive total, up from 50,000 merchants when we previously spoke with him back in October.

We asked him whether or not his startup can keep growing at a good pace, to which he replied:

There are 1.6 million retailers nationwide in Japan. If you consider the number of stores dealing with daily use items, I think we can target around 300,000 or 400,000 merchants on our platform. But if we consider independent creators as potential merchants, I think there’s no limit to our future growth.

Their t-shirt printing service on the platform got pretty good popularity among users. If they can acquire independent creators providing such services, then there’s a huge potential out there. From that perspective, their market may be overlap with other C2C focused companies in Japan like Mercari and Fril. The more their user base grows, then a variety of potential business model open up.

At Base’s new office