Japan’s Leading Mark raises $1.4 million, launches mobile app for job-seeking fresh grads



See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based startup Leading Mark, the company behind an online platform that aims to create a more efficient recruitment process, announced today that it has raised from 171 million yen (about $1.46 million) from Nippon Venture Capital, Mizuho Capital, Link and Motivation, SMBC Venture Capital, East Ventures, and several individual investors. Combined with previous funding from CyberAgent Ventures back in November 2013, Leading Mark has fundraised a total of 221 million ($1.88 million) from investors to date.

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Coinciding with the announcement of the funding, the company launched a mobile app for job-seeking students, called Recme, showing users a set of aggregated job listings which may be matched based on 85 patterns of a user’s interest tags. Available for iOS 7 and above on the iTunes Appstore as well as for Android on Google Play.


Since its foundation back in 2008, Leading Mark has established a primary business from recruiting consulting for established companies and built up a pipeline for job-seeking students. The firm has acquired about 200 companies as clients to date.

Leading Mark CEO Yuki Iida told us how they have been growing:

When launching our company, we had been telemarketing potential clients and asking them to “let us help your hiring campaign.” A certain major client participated in our event for job seekers, and we helped them make a good result. They have kept placing orders to us since then.

A good reputation helped them grow further. However, the 2008 global financial crisis and the Tohoku earthquake in 2011 hit the Japanese economy, causing many businesses to start shrinking their hiring budget.

Iida continued:

Our team turned out to be only me along with some part-time workers in 2011. I wondered if we had to shut down the business. However, although society is filled with materialistic items, I had wondered if people were really happy…working in jobs that really satisfy them.

Leading Mark CEO Yuji Iida

Through the experience in recruiting business over several years, he has learned  well about how he can make his business profitable. But he thought the job-seeking process for fresh graduates is not streamlined. While leading job board sites have to post many job entries, employment agencies typically charge a high commission. Exploring a new alternative to  conventional ways, Iida and his team invented Recme, a platform for matchmaking companies and job seekers by leveraging videos.

Since its launch a year ago, Leading Mark has achieved their first target of 10,000 job-seeking users on the Recme platform. While companies using the platform successfully reduced their workload for hiring ranging from 15% to 70%, the amount of job listings that Recme can provide is far beyond that of major job board sites. That’s why Leading Mark developed a mobile app.

Iida elaborated:

We have been curating job listings from many websites. Users can receive relevant information for available positions and job fairs by only selecting interesting tags.

To prevent a possible violation of copyright issues by reproducing content, the app curates job listings from companies except other job sites or recruiting companies. By choosing a job posting on the app, users will be navigated to an application form that enables them to post an appealing video on Recme, or otherwise to a website of the company that provides the position.

It will be possible on Recme to link up with the applicant entry form for those firms already using the platform. In addition, applications are directed to the main employment information page of such firms’ websites.

Translated by Masaru Ikeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy