Japanese fish delivery startup partners with JCB, eases restaurants’ credit purchases



See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based startup Hachimenroppi, which operates a fish delivery service for restaurants, announced yesterday that it has partnered with JCB, one of Japan’s leading credit card companies. Through this partnership, JCB will provide restaurants with credit purchase options and ease the process of buying fish from the delivery startup. Moreover, JCB will promote the startup’s service to its card member restaurants.

Hachimenroppi buys fish from markets and brokers across the country and delivers it to Japanese restaurants or diners, according to specific needs. Unlike existing wholesalers, they balance supply and demand using digital tools, allowing restaurants to order fish based on their customers’ needs rather than submitting to suppliers’ convenience. We previously outlined the specific details about how it works, so please check it out if you’d like to read more.

The company raised about $1.5 million back in October in order to hire talented staffers and accelerate system development. They appointed Kenichi Saito as CTO earlier this month, who previously served as CTO at Japanese shoe-focused e-commerce site Locondo. To date the company has been outsourcing their system development, but they plan to set up a system development department (led by Saito) where they can do most of that work in house. In addition to the iOS app, they are planning to launch an Android version, but now they are focusing on hiring Rails engineers. So if you are interested in working with an up-and-coming startup like this one, don’t hesitate to contact them.

To step up their sales and engineering efforts, the company plans to grow to a 50-person team by summer. According to founder and CEO Masanari Matsuda, he plans to allocate about 80% of the team to customer relations serving restaurants, and the rest to system development. He elaborated:

CEO Masanari Matsuda

In order to provide consumers with the best quality foods, I think restaurants shouldn’t be dominated by big companies. When an independent chef launches his own restaurant, he will be unable to buy ingredients on credit from wholesalers because that restaurant has no financial history. So our new service in partnership with JCB will help them a lot when starting out.

We’ll focus on fish delivery for the time being. However, our platform is receiving orders and updates from restaurants, which means we can enhance it to deal with a variety of food in the future, including rice, liquors, meat, vegetables, and fruits. As we know much about restaurants’ needs, we may even launch a new service sending cooks to restaurants.

The company has acquired 300 restaurants as of the end of last year. They expect to increase that to 1,000 restaurants by the end of this year, and 10,000 by the end of 2016. By 2020, they hope to generate over $3 billion in revenue, which accounts for almost 10% of the entire national fishery market volume.