Tokyo-based Note, the Japanese startup behind a social publishing platform under the same name, announced on Friday that its initial listing application on the Tokyo Stock Exchange had been approved. The company will be listed on the TSE Growth Market on December 21 with plans to offer 210,000 shares for public subscription and to sell 191,800 shares in over-allotment options for a total of 1,069,300 shares. The underwriting will be led by Daiwa Securities while Note’s ticker code will be 5243.
Based on the company’s estimated issue price is 300 yen (about $2.1) per share, its market cap is approximately 4.4 billion yen (about $31 million). The company apparently decided to have a down-round IPO, a steep discount from its private valuation of 33.8 billion yen (about $260 million in the currency exchange rate then) confirmed in a pre-IPO round back in May.
Its share price range will be released on December 5 with bookbuilding scheduled to start on December 6 and pricing on December 12. The final public offering price will be determined on December 13. According to its consolidated statement as of December of 2021, the company posted revenue of 1.88 billion yen ($13.4 million) with an ordinary loss of 434.5 million yen ($3.1 million).
Under its previous name of Piece of Cake, Note was founded in December of 2011 by Sadaaki Kato, previously a book editor at Japanese publishers like Ascii and Diamond. The company initially launched a service called Cakes, which had been providing users with content created by multiple authors on a subscription basis, but it terminated in 2022. The company then launched the Note platform, which allows users to sell user-generated content to readers in what’s called C2C (consumer-to-consumer) format.
The platform is often compared to Medium because of its appearance, but Medium asks readers to pay for good content while Note charges readers and also collects fees from content writers. In March of 2019, the company launched a service called Note Pro, which makes it easy for companies to create their owned media.
Led by founder and CEO Sadaaki Kato (34.87%), the company’s main shareholders include Femto Growth Capital holds (13.11% through two funds), Nikkei (6.07%), Tencent’s Image Frame Investment (5.94%), Jafco (5.82%), CyberAgent Capital (4.35%), UUUM (TSE: 3990, 2.51%), TV Tokyo Holdings (TSE: 9413, 2.51%), and SMBC Venture Capital (2.02%).