Japan’s ChatBook secures seed round, helps firms integrate chatbot with Salesforce SFA

Image credit: ChatBook

See the original story in Japanese.

Japan’s ChatBook, providing the automated marketing solution under the same name utilizing Facebook Messenger chatbot, announced on Monday that it had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Salesforce Ventures, East Ventures and YJ Capital in its seed round. It is estimated to total at hundreds of thousands of dollars. This round follows the one from YJ Capital and East Ventures in 2016 when ChatBook took part in the accelerator program Code Republic, which is managed by the two companies (the investment amount had not been disclosed neither but all the participant teams were evenly given 7 million yen (about $66,000) by the 100 million yen (about $940,000)-valuation.

Chatbook was co-founded in September of 2016 (named Hect as its start) by Maiko Kojima who formerly worked for Prime Again as CFO/COO. The firm has been chosen for various accelerator programs so far; the first batch of the Code Public program in 2016, Accelerate course of FbStart which is a developer support program by Facebook in 2017 and the first batch of AI Accelerator organized by the major job information provider Dip (TSE:2379).

ChatBook offers an auto-creation function of chatbot capable of information provision or interaction with website visitors targeting enterprise users, making it difficult to acquire new customers only by landing page. By securing the user flow from landing page to chatbot, enterprise users can achieve more effective marketing.

Chatbook CEO Maiko Kojima gives pitch at Demo Day of Code Public.
Photo credit: Code Republic

With the secured money, ChatBooks begins official operation of its service. It is available at no charge for individual users and no charge for ten days for enterprise users as trial use, while it had been opened as an invitational service based on inquiries. ChatBook has already been introduced to many companies including large enterprises or local government, such as the Marugame Seimen noodle restaurant chain and KAGA Route, the recruitment website for the spa resort area in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan.

In the chatbot-driven automated marketing field in Japan, Hachidori had raised 100 million yen (about $940,000) from Vector, Colopl Next, Evolable Asia, Aucfan and other investors in its series A round last year, as we as ZEALS providing Fanp raised 420 million yen (about $3.9 million) from JAFCO or FreakOut last month. Fanp aims to enhance the conversion by leading potential customers from infeed ad to chatbot, while on the other hand, ChatBook shows a bit different approach in that it aims to improve the conversion by leading customers from existing landing page to chatbot.

Translated by Taijiro Takeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy