Japan’s BoostIO secures series A to boost bug bounty site for open source projects

The BoostIO Team
Image credit: BoostIO

See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based BoostIO (formerly based in Fukuoka and known as Maisin & Co.), the Japanese startup behind the Boostnote Github-alternative and the IssueHunt bug bounty site, announced on Monday that it has raised 100 million yen (about $881K US0 in a series A ronnd. The following two funds and nine individual investors participated in this round. Anri participated in the previous seed round as well.

  • Anri
  • Now
  • Yoshinori Fukushima (Former Gunosy CEO, Current LayerX CEO)
  • Yuki Matsumoto (Former Gunosy CTO, Current DMM.com CTO)
  • Hiroshige Umino (Increments CEO)
  • Ayataro Nakagawa (Former Peroli CEO)
  • Kensuke Furukawa (Nanapi Co-founder, Former Supership Director)
  • Kei Kinoshita (Mercari Product Manager)
  • Masanori Kato (Progate CEO)
  • Shogo Ochiai (CryptoeconomicsLab Co-founder)
  • And 1 undisclosed individual investor

Following this funding, the company plans to focus on adding and improving IssueHunt’s functions, as well as awareness-raising activities for software development centered around open source community base.

IssueHunt is a bug bounty platform which allows open source developers to import a repository managed by themselves on GitHub, raise a bug report (issue) and ask other users to fix bugs. For users (contributors) who fix the bugs, it is possible to give rewards and donations as thanks for their effort. BoostIO’s own project, Boostnote, is currently positioned as one project on IssueHunt where maintenance, such as improved functions and bug fixes, can be done.

Image credit: BoostIO

Since its launch back in June, IssueHunt has grown steadily the past few months to become a popular service with 92% of its users overseas and access in 150 countries around the world (the number of users has not been released).  Even the company’s earlier services are overwhelmingly accessed from outside of Japan: Bootnote with 87% (as of June 2018) and Boostlog with 97% (June 2018). Among the projects handled on IssueHunt is the Ant-Design design language project by the UX division of Alibaba’s subsidiary Ant Financial.

BoostIO co-founder and CEO Kazz Yokomizo is looking to realize a different approach to the software developer’s way of working with BoostIO. Developers are more likely to make a living without having to belong to a particular company when they use IssueHunt. On the other hand, software houses and system integrators can maintain software without employing a developer in house so long as they have a minimum amount of committers (of course, this can include remote workers). In fact, some companies have not hired employees and pay compensation through IssueHunt instead of salaries.

With regards to compensation for contributors, IssueHunt’s predecessor Gitcoin corresponds only to cryptocurrency, while IssueHunt itself deals exclusively in Fiat (legal currency) which is denominated in US dollars. It is not currently known whether IssueHunt has plans to handle cryptos. Yokomizo appears to be promoting IssueHunt especially to enterprise users, and has thought up several measures to this aim. With that in mind, they are planning to hold an event called Open Source Conference in April of next year.

¥The BoostIO headquarters are situated in Shibuya, but employees, including remote workers, are working in several countries in addition to Japan throughout Asia and Europe. For startups in general an increase in employees is an indicator of growth, but this may not hold true for BoostIO. As of December 3rd, BoostIO has a repository of 199 registered repositories (projects).

Translated by Amanda Imasaka
Edited by Masaru Ikeda