This online concierge startup secures seed funding to better serve visitors to Japan



See the original story in Japanese.

Fast Japan, an online chat concierge service for visitors to Japan, was established in November of 2015 and fully started its service from March. The team announced this week that it has fundraised 25 million yen (about $236,000). TLM and KLab Venture Partners and angel investors participated in this round.

In Japan, various services targeting visitors to Japan, constantly growing in number, are appearing. Fast Japan provides Q&A or consultation services related to trip inside Japan via Facebook Messenger, Line and its own chat function on the website. The ‘decentralized concierge’ is one preference of this service which enables users to use any tool they are familiar with.

The content of questions collected from users range far and wide, such as recommended hotel, restaurant or route for certain locations. The chat service is provided in English and is free of charge for now. In addition, it operates its own media providing useful information to travel inside Japan in English and Traditional Chinese (for Taiwan and Hong Kong). Access to the website is mostly from Taiwan, having a large ratio of visitors to Japan as well.

CEO of Fast Japan Yuki Katano closed his former social gift business and took on this new challenge.

He  explains about how Fast Japan started:

I have liked communicating with people from many different countries, through study abroad programs for example. After considering the field in which I could communicate through a product and also can put being a Japanese to use, I figured out the inbound business. Among that, I chose a form of the chat concierge business which would contribute to decision-making when traveling.

Katano finds a sure response from the increased number of users. The secured funding this time will be spent for construction of a chat operation system and development of a scalable chat service model.

He concluded:

In the future, I want to develop a personal assistance for chat support when traveling not only in Japan but also anywhere else in the world.

Translated by Taijiro Takeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy