Japanese sake brewer Wakaze secures $7.6M series B to boost US, China expansion

Image credit: Wakaze

Japanese sake brewing startup Wakaze announced on Wednesday that it has secured about 1 billion yen (about $7.5 million) in a series B round. The round was led by Jafco Group (TSE:8595) with participation from Takara Holdings (TSE:2531), DBJ Capital, Egg Forward, SMBC Venture Capital in addition to an unnamed angel investor. This brought their funding sum to date up to about 1.5 billion yen ($11.3 million) as far as disclosed. Jafco Group followed their series A round investment.

Wakaze will use the funds to expand its business in Europe, the U.S., and the Asian region centered on China through strenthening advertising, establishing an office and hiring personnel in the U.S. in addition to expanding its production facilities in France. The company has partnered with Takara Holdings, one of the investors in this round, to produce Wakaze’s sake products at the manufacturing facility of Takara’s US subsidiary, and will also consider similar expansion efforts in China.

Wakaze aims to bring the wave of craft sake and D2C to the world of sake. Prior to founding the company back in 2016, CEO Takuma Inagawa studied at the École Centrale Paris as a French government scholarship student and then worked as a business strategy consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. In addition to developing new sake brewing recipes in Japan’s eastern prefecture of Yamagata, the company established a sake brewery called Kura Grand Paris in Suburban Paris back in November of 2019 to offer locally brewed Japanese sake for the French market.

via PR Times