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Japan’s handmade item marketplace Creema expands into Taiwan, Hong Kong

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See the original story in Japanese. Tokyo-based Creema, the Japanese startup behind C2C (consumer-to-consumer) marketplace for handmade items under the same name, announced today that it has started serving the Taiwanese and Hong Kong markets by launching a Traditional Chinese language version thereof. Coinciding with this, the company has launched a local subsidiary in Taiwan (可璃嗎股份有限公司). With the launch of the Traditional Chinese version, it enables handmade makers in Japan to submit their items for Taiwan and Hong Kong by one-click operation; the same op is available for makers from Taiwan and Hong Kong. From the quality control stance regarding submitted items, makers have to be screened by Creema upon opening their online stores on the platform for cross-border transactions between Japan and Taiwan/Hong Kong. To facilitate interactions between makers (sellers) and buyers using different languages, Creema’s staffers can provide assistance to expedite item submissions and transactions between both sides when necessary, as well as offering machine translation functions on the platform. In addition to the Japanese edition, Creema Chinese edition allows buyers to use credit card, convenience store payment, bank remittance and PayPal as payment options while sellers can choose shipping options from local post operator, door-to-door courier services…

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See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Creema, the Japanese startup behind C2C (consumer-to-consumer) marketplace for handmade items under the same name, announced today that it has started serving the Taiwanese and Hong Kong markets by launching a Traditional Chinese language version thereof. Coinciding with this, the company has launched a local subsidiary in Taiwan (可璃嗎股份有限公司).

With the launch of the Traditional Chinese version, it enables handmade makers in Japan to submit their items for Taiwan and Hong Kong by one-click operation; the same op is available for makers from Taiwan and Hong Kong. From the quality control stance regarding submitted items, makers have to be screened by Creema upon opening their online stores on the platform for cross-border transactions between Japan and Taiwan/Hong Kong.

creema-traditional-chinese-mobile
Mobile interface of Creema’s Traditonal Chinese version

To facilitate interactions between makers (sellers) and buyers using different languages, Creema’s staffers can provide assistance to expedite item submissions and transactions between both sides when necessary, as well as offering machine translation functions on the platform. In addition to the Japanese edition, Creema Chinese edition allows buyers to use credit card, convenience store payment, bank remittance and PayPal as payment options while sellers can choose shipping options from local post operator, door-to-door courier services and others.

Kotaro Marubayashi, founder and CEO of Creema, told The Bridge that they have chosen the two destinations as a first step for their global expansion effort since these markets have a high affinity to Japanese handmade culture. Because it started recruitment of makers from Taiwan and Hong Kong today, transactions from Japan to Taiwan and Hong Kong will be higher than the other way around for the time being.

Launched back in May of 2010, Creema has acquired 70,000 creators with listing over 2.8 million handmade items online. Following a million dollar funding from KDDI Open Innovation Fund in June of 2014, the company secured $11 million in funding this May from Globis Capital Partners and other investors.

Looking at the trend for handmade C2C and fashion C2C platforms in this region, Taiwan’s Pinkoi (owning 25,000 creators) is staying ahead in the race while other players like Maipple and Smaoku recently join the competition. Creema is trying to differentiate itself from competitors in Japan by dealing with elaborately crafted items with a high design performance, so it will be interesting to see how the company can also beat the competition even outside Japan using the same strategy.

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Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy

Japan’s handmade item marketplace Creema raises $10M to win fierce competition

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See the original story in Japanese. Tokyo-based Creema, the Japanese startup behind C2C (consumer-to-consumer) marketplace for handmade items under the same name, announced that it fundraised about 1.1 billion yen (about $10 million) in the latest round led by Globis Capital Partners (GCP). For Creema, this is the fourth round following the previous 100 million yen funding from KDDI Open Innovation Fund (KOIF for short, jointly operated by leading Japanese telco KDDI and VC firm Global Brain) back in June 2014. In addition to GCP, participating investors in the latest round were KDDI, Global Brain and SMBC Venture Partners, in addition to Creema founder/CEO Kotaro Marubayashi himself. Launched back in 2010, the Creema marketplace lists more than 2.4 million handmade items from over 60,000 registered creators. While the handmade C2C market in Japan grew by 250% YoY in transaction volume, Creema revealed that they had seen a 450% growth from last year. Currently the Japanese handmade market is fiercely competitive as it has in operation more than 40 marketplaces within. However apparently most deals are being aggregated into the top 4 marketplaces: Minne (backed by GMO), Tetote (backed by GMO), Iichi (backed by Hakuhodo group and Taiwan’s handmade C2C marketplace…

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L to R: Tomohiro Ebata (Director, Head of Business Development and Investment, KDDI), Keisuke Tatsuoka (Global Brain), Kotaro Maruyabayashi (CEO, Creema), Akihiro Higashi (Principal, Globis Capital Partners), Minoru Konno (Partner & COO, Globis Capital Partners)

See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Creema, the Japanese startup behind C2C (consumer-to-consumer) marketplace for handmade items under the same name, announced that it fundraised about 1.1 billion yen (about $10 million) in the latest round led by Globis Capital Partners (GCP). For Creema, this is the fourth round following the previous 100 million yen funding from KDDI Open Innovation Fund (KOIF for short, jointly operated by leading Japanese telco KDDI and VC firm Global Brain) back in June 2014. In addition to GCP, participating investors in the latest round were KDDI, Global Brain and SMBC Venture Partners, in addition to Creema founder/CEO Kotaro Marubayashi himself.

creema-2016_screenshot

Launched back in 2010, the Creema marketplace lists more than 2.4 million handmade items from over 60,000 registered creators. While the handmade C2C market in Japan grew by 250% YoY in transaction volume, Creema revealed that they had seen a 450% growth from last year.

Currently the Japanese handmade market is fiercely competitive as it has in operation more than 40 marketplaces within. However apparently most deals are being aggregated into the top 4 marketplaces: Minne (backed by GMO), Tetote (backed by GMO), Iichi (backed by Hakuhodo group and Taiwan’s handmade C2C marketplace Pinkoi) and the amply-funded Creema.

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Creema will use the funds to strengthen system development as well as marketing efforts for service recognition. They had been dependent for such recognition upon word of mouth among users, now expecting to hit 10 billion yen (about $92 million) in gross merchandise volume for 2016 (this number is coincidentally matched with that of competitor Minne).

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Creema’s mobile app

According to Marubayashi, the average market price for each deal at Creema is over twice that at other marketplaces since users therein tend to trade handmade items with elaborate designs crafted by professionals. Recently Creema started dealing with food products where bakers and pâtissière sell their original breads or cakes while farmers sell handmade salad dressings and juices.

The consolidated annual merchandise volume from the two major C2C marketplaces of Japan, Yahoo Auction and Mercari, is to near the 1 trillion yen (or about $9.2 billion) mark by this yearend. Given that handmade item deals are included in these stats, we can see that the handmade item marketplaces still have a great potential for further growth.

Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy

Handmade item marketplace Anders brings new Japanese-flavored designs every Monday

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See the original story in Japanese. Tokyo-based Creema provides a handmade item marketplace under the same name. Our readers may recall that the company secured $1 million funding round from KDDI Open Innovation Fund last year, followed by  an iOS app launch in November. The company officially today launched a new app called Anders in six locations, bringing made-in-Japan handmade items to the global market. The app is available for iOS on AppStore in Japan, the U.S., Singapore, France and Germany, plus Taiwan. Based on the concept – Long Life Design, HandMade in Japan – Anders introduces new lineups every week from a variety of accessories, fashion items and foods as well as home interiors. Members can buy these items for reduced prices within a week after their initial appearance on the marketplace. If one introduces friends to Anders, one can earn rewards of up to 6,000 yen (about $50) in value according to how many friends are introduced. Moreover, the friends introduced can also earn rewards of 500 yen in value each. Planned participating designers and brands include Astro Nuts, Januka, Jaren, “GaTa” watch smith, Enku, and C-Brain. What differentiates Anders most from their conventional service is that users can enjoy shopping in English as well as Japanese. According to Creema, each of more than five designers intends to introduce their 10 to 20 new items every Monday as…

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See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Creema provides a handmade item marketplace under the same name. Our readers may recall that the company secured $1 million funding round from KDDI Open Innovation Fund last year, followed by  an iOS app launch in November.

The company officially today launched a new app called Anders in six locations, bringing made-in-Japan handmade items to the global market. The app is available for iOS on AppStore in Japan, the U.S., Singapore, France and Germany, plus Taiwan.

Based on the concept – Long Life Design, HandMade in Japan – Anders introduces new lineups every week from a variety of accessories, fashion items and foods as well as home interiors. Members can buy these items for reduced prices within a week after their initial appearance on the marketplace.

If one introduces friends to Anders, one can earn rewards of up to 6,000 yen (about $50) in value according to how many friends are introduced. Moreover, the friends introduced can also earn rewards of 500 yen in value each. Planned participating designers and brands include Astro NutsJanukaJaren“GaTa” watch smithEnku, and C-Brain.

anders-designers-portfolio

What differentiates Anders most from their conventional service is that users can enjoy shopping in English as well as Japanese. According to Creema, each of more than five designers intends to introduce their 10 to 20 new items every Monday as of the time of launch, meaning dozens of new handmade items debuting on the app every week.

Since its teaser site launch on February 23, the company has been accepting pre-registrations from users until today. In a recent conversation with Creema CEO Kotaro Marubayashi, he couldn’t disclose how many users they have acquired to date but shared a ratio of overseas users of around 50% as expected, thereby seeing a good start.

There are many players fiercely competing in this space, including Etsy and Fab in the U.S., Pinkoi in Taiwan, in addition to Tenote and Minne, not to mention Iichi, in Japan. So it will be interesting to see how favorably the concept of handmade items based out of Japan are accepted by the global market.

Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy

Japan’s Creema launches iOS app, gives users instant access to handmade items sellers

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See the original story in Japanese. Tokyo-based Creema, the startup behind a C2C marketplace for handmade items, announced 7 November that it has introduced an iOS app for the service. The company fundraised 100 million yen ($1 million) from KDDI Open Innovation Fund in June and has developed the app using the funds with the aim to improve accessibility for their mobile users. Since its launch in 2010, Creema has listed over 650,000 handmade items and acquired over two million monthly visitors. Their monthly transaction volume is seeing good growth and has doubled in comparison with five months ago when they partnered with Japanese telco KDDI coinciding, with the aforementioned funding. In differentiation with other C2C marketplaces like Mercari and Fril, Creema is focused on handmade items, allowing users to interact with creators and order their custom-made items as well as listed items. While this version of the app allows buyers to browse and purchase items only, a new version, which is scheduled to go live mid-November, will support the function that enables sellers to submit their items to the marketplace. In this space Taiwan-born handmade marketplace Pinkoi, which is backed by Japan’s Infinity Venture Partners, has been expanding into Japanese where they have adopted the “Mobile First” strategy. Pinkoi has released its localized Android and iOS apps for Japanese users, so the…

creema_iosapp_screenshots

See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Creema, the startup behind a C2C marketplace for handmade items, announced 7 November that it has introduced an iOS app for the service. The company fundraised 100 million yen ($1 million) from KDDI Open Innovation Fund in June and has developed the app using the funds with the aim to improve accessibility for their mobile users.

Since its launch in 2010, Creema has listed over 650,000 handmade items and acquired over two million monthly visitors. Their monthly transaction volume is seeing good growth and has doubled in comparison with five months ago when they partnered with Japanese telco KDDI coinciding, with the aforementioned funding. In differentiation with other C2C marketplaces like Mercari and Fril, Creema is focused on handmade items, allowing users to interact with creators and order their custom-made items as well as listed items.

While this version of the app allows buyers to browse and purchase items only, a new version, which is scheduled to go live mid-November, will support the function that enables sellers to submit their items to the marketplace.

In this space Taiwan-born handmade marketplace Pinkoi, which is backed by Japan’s Infinity Venture Partners, has been expanding into Japanese where they have adopted the “Mobile First” strategy. Pinkoi has released its localized Android and iOS apps for Japanese users, so the launch of Creema’s mobile app at this time means that the Japanese company is ready for a battle with the Taiwanese competitor.

Japan’s handmade item marketplace Creema fundraises $1 million from KDDI

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Tokyo-based Creema, the startup behind the C2C marketplace for handmade items, announced today that it has raised 100 million yen (about $1 million) from KDDI Open Innovation Fund. The company plans to use the funds for system development efforts to give users better experience. In this space, we’ve seen many startups like Etsy (US), Creatty (Japan), and Pinkoi (Taiwan). But Creema is one of the oldest companies among them. Since its launch back in June of 2010, the company has acquired 18,000 creators and they have submitted over 500,000 items on the platform. Their founder and CEO Kotaro Marubayashi explained why they have grown their platform business spending a long time: I think this kind of websites usually takes time to make users understand what’s interesting. That’s why we’ve been carefully developing this community. What makes us unique from other similar services is that most of our creators are making a living by selling their items here. Their items are completely different from what people create as their hobby in their spare time. In order to gain people’s awareness for handmade products, the company holds an exhibition called ‘HandMade in Japan Fes‘ every year as well as has a real…

creema_featuredimage

Tokyo-based Creema, the startup behind the C2C marketplace for handmade items, announced today that it has raised 100 million yen (about $1 million) from KDDI Open Innovation Fund. The company plans to use the funds for system development efforts to give users better experience.

In this space, we’ve seen many startups like Etsy (US), Creatty (Japan), and Pinkoi (Taiwan). But Creema is one of the oldest companies among them. Since its launch back in June of 2010, the company has acquired 18,000 creators and they have submitted over 500,000 items on the platform.

Their founder and CEO Kotaro Marubayashi explained why they have grown their platform business spending a long time:

I think this kind of websites usually takes time to make users understand what’s interesting. That’s why we’ve been carefully developing this community. What makes us unique from other similar services is that most of our creators are making a living by selling their items here. Their items are completely different from what people create as their hobby in their spare time.

creema-flagshipstore
Creema’s flagship store in Shinjuku

In order to gain people’s awareness for handmade products, the company holds an exhibition called ‘HandMade in Japan Fes‘ every year as well as has a real flagship store in the Shinjuku Lumine department store. As a result of these efforts, they have surpassed 15 million monthly page views, and the amount of transactions through their platform grows at a pace of 400% every year. Some creators earn more than $10,000 a month despite the fact that most of items are one-off originals.

Coinciding the funding, the company drives user traffic from Au Smart Pass, the unlimited app download service by KDDI, planning to add several payment methods for KDDI’s smartphone subscribers. Marubayashi added:

We’ve been developing our service diligently and steadily. We have a good revenue stream but we can try out something new using the money raised this time. But we’re not interested in increasing page views using ads. We believe there’s a huge potential in the manufacturing culture. We’ll focus on improving our system infrastructure to better serve our users.

In view of the Japanese C2C market, this handmade item market can create new values while second-hand platforms are saturated with mobile apps like Mercari and Fril. Since Japanese manufactured items are favorably rated among foreign consumers, we can expect this marketplace to meet demands from outside the country as well.