Makuake, Fukuoka City join forces to help startups expand into Japan via crowdfunding


See the original story in Japanese.

Japanese major crowdfunding platform Makuake and Fukuoka, the western Japanese city known for having been designated as a special economic zone for encouraging global entrepreneurship, announced today that they will jointly help foreign startups expand into the Japanese market by helping launch their crowdfunding campaigns.

Fukuoka City will help foreign startups, that have their own product, launch their crowdfunding campaign by recommending them to Makuake while the city looks to utilize existing schemes to help these startups gain funds, office locations and business opportunities. Startups having launched their crowdfunding campaign can typically enjoy the benefits of improving their public awareness and gaining necessary funds, in addition to making it easier to obtain loans on their own from financial institutions and cultivate distribution channels through user validation results.

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Makuake has dealt with more than 100 crowdfunding campaigns from foreign enterprises and startups. Meanwhile, led by its startup support arm called Global Startup Center, Fukuoka City has been focused on inviting foreign startups to set up shop there.

Partnering scheme

As part of the partnership, both parties have just started helping to run two crowdfunding campaigns: Coffee Pixels – a solid coffee bar from Latvia (see this for campaign) – and Hope English – an English e-learning service from Taiwan (see this for campaign).

Celebrating its fifth year since the launch, Makuake has been cultivating potential crowdfunding projects from rural areas in Japan in partnership with regional banks. In the meantime they set up a branch office in Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido last month. Through the partnership with Fukuoka City, we can expect they will further cultivate crowdfunding campaigns from Fukuoka and Kyushu regions as well as to help foreign startups gain more exposure in the Japanese market.

Translated by Masaru Ikeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy