Japan’s Boostnote secures funding to boost global expansion of GitHub alternative


This guest post is authored by Masanori Hashimoto, co-founder and CEO of Nulab, the Fukuoka-based startup behind SaaS (software as a service) platforms like Backlog, Cacoo and Typetalk.

In addition to managing his startup, he has been involved in various local initiatives encouraging entrepreneurship such as Oreoka.com and Myojo Waraku.

L to R: Anri Samata (founder of Anri), Kazumasa Yokomizo (CEO of BoostIO CEO), Choi Junyoung (BoostIO CTO)
Image credit: BoostIO

See the original story in Japanese.

Fukuoka-based Maisin & Co., the Japanese startup developing a programmer tool called Boostnote, recently announced that it has rebranded into BoostIO and raised an undislosed sum from Japanese seed round-focused startup funds Anri and F Ventures in addition to six angel investors.

Participating angel investors include several key players on the local startup scene in the western Japan city of Fukuoka such as Shinji Hamauzu (CEO of Aratana) and Shuhei Hiya (Tech Lead of Tsumug, Former Head of Uhuru Technical Rockstars). Junji Murakami, one of the Myojo Waraku startup festival organizers, is helping increase angel investors in the city because he thinks not only VC funds but also angel investors are crucial upon building the local startup community.

Other angel investors participating in this round were Masao Ito (CEO of User Local), Shinichi Iwata (Japan head of Atomico and former President of Skype Japan), Yusuke Sato (President of FreakOut Holdings) and an unnamed angel investor.

Angel investors participating in this round
Image credit: BoostIO

With native apps for platforms including Macintosh, Windows, Linux, Android and iOS, Boostnote allows system developers to save and share their source codes online. The open source project was launched in beta under the previous name of Boost back in 2015 but it has succeeded in engaging contributors from around the world to build up a global community.

Programmers worldwide are now participating in development and improvement of Boostnote, which is also so loosely operated as a warm community that their users can help each others solve questions and bugs. Going forward, the team expects to provide more versatile solutions while verifying technical issues.

Image credit: BoostIO

Boostnote is characterized by its global spread in both developers and users since almost all developers and 82% of users are based outside Japan. With user access from more than 200 countries, the service has seen a good growth by taking the “global-first” strategy from Day One. In view of a notebook app, many of us will first come up with Evernote but the app has become complicated and heavy because of too many functions that are overloaded and eventually churn existing users. I wish Boostnote maintains simplicity yet still excites programmers.

The BoostIO team has strength not only in software development but also as to community of open source programmers that they have been steadily building. Their co-founders CEO Kazumasa Yokomizo and CTO Choi Junyoung are looking at future workstyle through open source activities while having started stepping toward the next growth under the stealth mode. Just after they finished a meeting with their investors, I had a chance to talk with them. They looked full of energy and told me:

I want to make big things happen within 2018.

Happy new year to all!

Translated by Masaru Ikeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy