Japan’s outsourced logistics platform OpenLogi secures $500,000 funding round



This is the abridged version from our original article in Japanese.

Tokyo-based OpenLogi, a startup that provides an outsourced logistics platform focused on SMEs and freelancers, announced today that it has fundraised about 60 million yen ($500,000) from Japanese investment fund Infinity Venture Partners (IVP) and Kotaro Chiba, executive vice-president of Japanese mobile game company Colopl (TSE:3668).

Upon this funding round, Masashi Kobayashi, managing partner at IVP, and Kimiyuki Suda aka Sudax, who has been serving as an auditor for recently-IPOed Japanese companies such as Bengo4.com (legal consulting platform) and Crowdworks (crowdsourcing platform), joined the board of management. The company also invited Star Mica (TSE:3230) Chairman Masashi Mizunaga as an advisor.

OpenLogi is an outsourced logistics service offering affordable rates that leverages unused warehouse assets and downtime of logistic facilities. The company plans to use the funds to enlarge their four-person management team and to strengthen system development. In accordance with the company’s business expansion, IVP intends to make an additional investment of several million dollars.

OpenLogi was founded in December 2013 by Hidetsugu Ito, who was previously involved in launching Japanese magazine subscription service Fujisan.co.jp. Based on his experience in discussing and negotiating with logistics companies, he founded OpenLogi to address logistics solutions for small e-commerce players.

Looking at the recent upward trend in the C2C business in Japan thanks to instant e-commerce platforms like Base or Stores.jp, as well as resale shopping app Mercari, C2C-based commerce businesses have become more common, so logistics services for professional use lags behind those for small commerce business players in terms of service flexibility.

In view of the fabless business concept, OpenLogi is very similar to online printing startup Raksul or online laundry startup Lenet, where they have no assets to provide services. Upon signing up with OpenLogi platform, it provides management features on a dashboard, such as warehouse inspection, warehouse storage, shipping, and management of returned merchandise at affordable rates.

Since its launch in beta in June 2014, OpenLogi has successfully attracted many SMEs and freelancers because of its price transparency and affordable rates, and is seeing a 400% growth on a month-to-month revenue basis. While planning to expand the service to warehousing of frozen foods and hazardous materials, they are working on the launch of a cross-border shipping service to serve international e-commerce businesses, and is expected to launch in April.

L to R: OpenLogi CEO Hidetsugu Ito and newly-appointed auditor Kimiyuki Suda aka Sudax

Translated by Masaru Ikeda
Edited by Kurt Hanson