Japan’s handmade item marketplace Creema expands into Taiwan, Hong Kong

Japan’s handmade item marketplace Creema expands into Taiwan, Hong Kong

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See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Creema, the Japanese startup behind C2C (consumer-to-consumer) marketplace for handmade items under the same name, announced today that it has started serving the Taiwanese and Hong Kong markets by launching a Traditional Chinese language version thereof. Coinciding with this, the company has launched a local subsidiary in Taiwan (可璃嗎股份有限公司).

With the launch of the Traditional Chinese version, it enables handmade makers in Japan to submit their items for Taiwan and Hong Kong by one-click operation; the same op is available for makers from Taiwan and Hong Kong. From the quality control stance regarding submitted items, makers have to be screened by Creema upon opening their online stores on the platform for cross-border transactions between Japan and Taiwan/Hong Kong.

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Mobile interface of Creema’s Traditonal Chinese version

To facilitate interactions between makers (sellers) and buyers using different languages, Creema’s staffers can provide assistance to expedite item submissions and transactions between both sides when necessary, as well as offering machine translation functions on the platform. In addition to the Japanese edition, Creema Chinese edition allows buyers to use credit card, convenience store payment, bank remittance and PayPal as payment options while sellers can choose shipping options from local post operator, door-to-door courier services and others.

Kotaro Marubayashi, founder and CEO of Creema, told The Bridge that they have chosen the two destinations as a first step for their global expansion effort since these markets have a high affinity to Japanese handmade culture. Because it started recruitment of makers from Taiwan and Hong Kong today, transactions from Japan to Taiwan and Hong Kong will be higher than the other way around for the time being.

Launched back in May of 2010, Creema has acquired 70,000 creators with listing over 2.8 million handmade items online. Following a million dollar funding from KDDI Open Innovation Fund in June of 2014, the company secured $11 million in funding this May from Globis Capital Partners and other investors.

Looking at the trend for handmade C2C and fashion C2C platforms in this region, Taiwan’s Pinkoi (owning 25,000 creators) is staying ahead in the race while other players like Maipple and Smaoku recently join the competition. Creema is trying to differentiate itself from competitors in Japan by dealing with elaborately crafted items with a high design performance, so it will be interesting to see how the company can also beat the competition even outside Japan using the same strategy.

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Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy