Japan’s crowdsourced bookkeeping startup MerryBiz secures funding from Opt Ventures

MerryBiz founder and CEO Hiroki Kudo

See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based crowdsourced bookkeeping startup MerryBiz announced this week that it has fundraised an undisclosed amount of funding from Opt Ventures, the investment arm of Japanese leading online ad agency Opt Holding (TSE:2389). As an investment from Opt Ventures Fund Part-I, this follows the VC firm’s recent investment in Japanese translation startup WOVN.io. For MerryBiz, this follows their previous funding from Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Venture Capital back in May 2014.

MerryBiz provides a bookkeeping service under the same name by reading photocopies of withdrawal details on passbooks, credit card utilization bills and payment statements in addition to receipts for expenses. Under the title derived from a name of goat species, the company has rolled out a new function every three months. In January this year, MerryBiz started receiving outsourced bookkeeping and tax return processing services for freelancers in association with Japanese legal portal Bengo4.com.

MerryBiz CEO Hiroki Kudo told The Bridge that he will strengthen his engineering team and marketing efforts for customer acquisition:

We will hire engineers from overseas to develop our service for Japanese users, meaning building a global team in the company.

Since everything changes so fast in the online industry, we need to be close contact with each others onsite in the team so that we can move forward quicker. Having new employees, we want to build up an artificial intelligence or machine learning-based system.

We were told that the company is employing a Swedish engineer for now while still screening for new engineering applicants from Germany, Spain and India. Their engineers will focus on enhancing features for the Japanese market for the time being, but the company wants to adopt the service into the global market so that it can accept reading receipts issued in different countries.

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Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy