SaaS Startups take center stage at Tokyo conference


This is a guest post authored by “Tex” Pomeroy. He is a Tokyo-based writer specializing in ICT and high technology.

A Venture Conference the Second, featuring a discussion among Software as a Service (SaaS) providers was held in Tokyo on August 2nd. This conference, sponsored by and Japanese financial publisher Toyo Keizai (literally meaning ‘Oriental Economist’), focused on Knowledge Management, sales enablement and training of Millennial generation employees among other topics.

Of keen interest to most attendees was the panel session which brought together FinTech-related startups Freee targeting the accountants market in Japan of late and Moneytree that has recently gained in profile due to its financial cloud service involvement. The FinTech duo was joined by a provider of easy-to-use manuals tutor service called Teachme Biz.

L to R: Shinji Asada (moderator, Japan Head of Salesforce Ventures), Daisuke Sasaki (CEO of Freee), Satoshi Suzuki (CEO of Studist, the company behind Teachme Biz), Paul Chapman (CEO of Moneytree)

Entitled “The Formula behind Rapid SaaS Venture Business Growth”, moderated by a Salesforce Ventures representative, some in-depth scrutiny took place among the three panelists, ranging from effective use of databases to strategies upon obtaining serial fund gathering. It was worth noting that Freee is ahead in such an endeavor as it is eyeing a Series E try.

Many participants of the event, mainly comprising startups from Japan said it was extremely informative, not only offering insights into the workings of the startup sector but also glimpses into fields like the Japanese accountants business and crossborder financing - the Moneytree representative being a jetset businessman in addition to being an Australian fluent in the Japanese language.

A scene from the post-session networking party