Japan’s Lapieces app curates must-visit spots from locals and travelers around the planet



See the original story in Japanese.

Lapieces is a startup based out of Menlo Park, the heart of Silicon Valley. The company launched a mobile app under the same name for iOS in Japan and the US. The app is available on the iTunes AppStore for these two markets.

The Lapieces app allows locals and travelers to post details about their favorite spots in their neighborhood or the destinations they have visited. By handpicking favorite choices from these posts, other users can create their own list of so-called Gathered Pieces consisting of destination profiles and traveler maps. For selected destinations in the Gathered Pieces list, profiles and maps are saved in users’ local handset so that they can view and confirm these information without subscribing to roaming data when traveling abroad.

The company is rooted from Tokyo-based startup Solt launched in Tokyo in November 2013. While Solt had been operating a travel-focused social network platform called Clip since last year, Lapieces is pivoted from that upon launching a new company in the US with a view to global expansion. The founders are CEO Masamichi Yamazaki (formerly with Recruit), COO Yuya Tanji (formerly with Abeam Consulting), and CTO Kai Takagi (formerly with NEC Central Research Laboratories).

As an immediate goal, Lapieces aims to acquire 8.3 million downloads and 530,000 user-generated articles of must-visit spots by August 2016. They are bootstrapping — using their funds — but look into partnering with organizations or businesses in the tourism industry, seeing funding from investors by year’s end.


Edited by Kurt Hanson