Preparing for an IPO, Japan’s business chat tool provider Chatwork raises $2.5 million

From the left: GMO Venture Partners’ founding partner Ryu Muramatsu, Chatwork CEO Toshiyuki Yamamoto

See the original story in Japanese.

Osaka-based Chatwork, a Japanese startup that operates a cloud-based chat tool for business under the same name, announced today that it has fundraised 300 million yen ($2.5 million) from GMO Venture Partners. The funds will be used to hire engineers to strengthen system development, promotional efforts for user acquisitions, and partnering with other companies.

Chatwork will greatly expand business in Asia, leveraging GMO Venture Partners’ massive links with startup ecosystems and payment networks in the region. Headquartered in Osaka, Chatwork has regional offices in Tokyo and Silicon Valley. The company is a 35-person team, but will grow to over 100 people within a few years.

Chatwork plans to release the tool’s version 4.0 in this year, rolling out a fully-renewed interface of the mobile app, strengthening task management and video conference functions, developing a desktop app, and officially launching an application programming interface (API).

Since its launch in 2000, Chatwork has been bootstrapping the business in positive balance. With the funding, the company will focus on strengthening its business structure and product development. The company is today preparing for an IPO.

Translated by Masaru Ikeda
Edited by Kurt Hanson and “Tex” Pomeroy