Japan’s Makuake ties up with Korea’s Wadiz for more cross-border crowdfunding deals

From left: Makuake CEO Ryotaro Nakayama, Wadiz Co-founder and CBO Dong Choi

See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Makuake, the Japanese company behind crowdfunding platform under the same name, announced on Thursday that it has partnered with Wadiz, the Seoul-based company running the same business in Korea. This partnership is intended to help their crowdfunding campaign owners in Japan and Korea better promote in their counterpart market, and there are no capital ties between the two companies.

Established in May 2012, Wadiz was officially approved by the Korea Financial Services Committee in January 2016 as an equity-type crowdfunding platform and currently offers two types of crowdfunding services: equity and reward. The company has supported so far about 2,500 crowdfunidng projects and help them fundraise more than 30 billion won (about $26.5 million US). Past famous projects include a complete meal replacement called Lab Nosh, a portable air purifier called Clair, and a handmade car manufacturing service called Mohenic Garages. In the future, the company plans to expand into Singapore, Malaysia, and other markets.

There have been cases until now on both the Makuake and Wadiz platforms where project owners in Japan and Korea have taken it upon themselves to launch crowdfunding campaigns on each of their counterpart platforms. Both companies received encouragement from KOTRA (Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency), which ultimately led to this business partnership. In cooperation with related companies, Makuake and Wadiz will support project owners by developing campaigns from Japan to Korea and vice versa, translating explanations and backer interactions, providing local logistics, settlement means and so on.

Up to now, examples of projects introduced by Makuake to Wadiz include Tidy ( Makuake / Wadiz ), a wallet that is easy to organize, and Soladey Rhythm ( Makuake / Wadiz ), a toothbrush that removes plaque with negative electrons and sound vibration. Additionally, with Japan as the theme, we’ve seen projects like creating a Korean version of “Miracles of the Namiya General Store” Japanese movie as well as Saeki’s hand-made glove products on Wadiz.

When The Bridge reached out to Makuake CEO Ryotaro Nakayama he suggested that one way to support the distribution of projects originating in Japan to the world is to strengthen and expand their relationships especially around Asia. Nakayama related that, as Makuake’s beta version in English is insufficient for localization, the company wants to be flexible in thinking about how to tie-up with potential partners and business alliances in each country, and is looking to increase business partnerships similar to the one with Wadiz.

Translated by Amanda Imasaka
Edited by Masaru Ikeda