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DANX wants to roll out ‘pop-up’ and on-demand diners across Japan using food trucks

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See the original story in Japanese. Tokyo-based Ignition Point announced earlier this month that it has founded a subsidiary called DANX providing an on-demand eating and drinking service using food trucks. Satoshi Ota who had been managing Food-tech Business at Ignition Point is appointed to CEO of DANX while Ignition Point CEO Kazuhiro Aoyagi is appointed to Director of DANX. Ignition Point sets a target to create two internet services every year. Their achievement includes Secual (home security with IoT), an e-commerce service between Japan and other Asian countries based on the meGrid photobook service, Point Edge (community-based creator studio) and LEARNie (online English conversation learning for schoolchildren). Ignition Point has recently founded Pontely dealing with a pets’ lifecycle business using DNA information and DANX is the sixth case in independent company form. DANX is acronym for ‘Day and Night Box’ and aims to make an innovation in the eating and drinking industry corresponding to the change of lifestyle such as diversification of work environment, increase in singles-led households or need for regional revitalization. Conventionally, eating and drinking establishments had expanded its business based on restaurant having fixed geographic locations. For restaurants that serve unique menu, their geographical locations can…

From left: Kazuhiro Aoyagi (Managing Director, DANX), Satoshi Ota (CEO, Danx)

See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Ignition Point announced earlier this month that it has founded a subsidiary called DANX providing an on-demand eating and drinking service using food trucks. Satoshi Ota who had been managing Food-tech Business at Ignition Point is appointed to CEO of DANX while Ignition Point CEO Kazuhiro Aoyagi is appointed to Director of DANX.

Ignition Point sets a target to create two internet services every year. Their achievement includes Secual (home security with IoT), an e-commerce service between Japan and other Asian countries based on the meGrid photobook service, Point Edge (community-based creator studio) and LEARNie (online English conversation learning for schoolchildren). Ignition Point has recently founded Pontely dealing with a pets’ lifecycle business using DNA information and DANX is the sixth case in independent company form.

DANX
Image credit: DANX

DANX is acronym for ‘Day and Night Box’ and aims to make an innovation in the eating and drinking industry corresponding to the change of lifestyle such as diversification of work environment, increase in singles-led households or need for regional revitalization. Conventionally, eating and drinking establishments had expanded its business based on restaurant having fixed geographic locations. For restaurants that serve unique menu, their geographical locations can become established but will not grow further without a key potential customer layer. It is said that 90% of the key to success in the eating and drinking business is influenced by location, but the rent of properties in conventional urban locations remains at a  high level due to supply shortage.

Ignition Point developed and organized several dozens of food trucks / kitchen cars. Each truck is dispatched to event sites or dead spaces in town as a pop-up restaurant serving a variety of  menus. It can meet demands for lunch in office areas with few restaurants or can hold events like pop-up gourmet festivals by gathering multiple food trucks. DANX aims for a stable supply of high-quality food regardless of the cooks’ skill by utilizing a central kitchen function and efficient channels for procurement of foodstuff.

Siam ERAWAN exhibits at Thai Festival
Image credit: DANX

While Ignition Point has been taking on consulting business as its core business, the firm purchased a Thai restaurant Siam ERAWAN in Shimokitazawa, Tokyo or a casual French restaurant Bistro Epices in Kichijoji, Tokyo, preparing to enter into the food-tech industry steadily as led by Ota. Chefs of these restaurants are expected to cooperate with DANX projects in recipe development.

DANX had exhibited its food truck restaurant at Thai Festival held in Yoyogi Park or a beach house at Katase-nishihama beach in the Shonan area before the full-scale operation. The beach house was not exhibited as food truck style due to the geographical restriction of beach, but it provided the firm’s future eating and drinking service virtually. Leveraging the experience obtained from beach house management, DANX focuses on establishment of operation model of the food truck business. Soon we may see food trucks with DANX logo throughout Japan.

Beach house in Katasenishihama beach, opened by Ignition Point
Image credit: DANX

No competitor providing very similar service to DANX exist in Japan as far as the author knows, but DANX might be inspired from some conventional services. TLUNCH, provided by Tokyo-based Mellow, achieved success as a matching platform between 370 food truck owners and real estate owners with 70 vacant spaces.

DANX plans to launch an advance order / payment app resembling O:der to solve alleviate queuing in front of food trucks when busy. Additionally, one of the app’s function notifies users when favorite food trucks open nearby. Based on users’ GPS information of smartphones, it is similar to the freelance support platform Summon.

Translated by Taijiro Takeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy

Japan’s Pontely gives free DNA test for pet shop dogs, prevents future abandons, culls

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See the original story in Japanese. Tokyo-based Ignition Point announced last month that it had founded a subsidiary named Pontely which deals with pet distribution / lifecycle business based on DNA information of pets. Partnering with pet retailers across Japan, it provides information about potential risk of various diseases based on genetic information to customers considering the purchase of pets, aiming to reduce negligence or euthanization. Initially, the firm plans to provide a business targeting canines exclusively. Earlier last month, The Bridge reported that Kazuhiro Aoyagi retired from CEO of Secual, returning to Ignition Point to work on new business creation (he mentioned that Ignition Point aims to create two businesses every year). Pontely is the fifth case in this context. Toshiki Tamura and Dai Shinohara, the two being from the financial IT major Simplex, were appointed to CEO and COO respectively. Shinohara joined the team recently and Tamura had been mulling the possibilities of new businesses while being engaged in consulting works at Ignition Point. Bringing Aoyagi onboard as CSO (Chief Strategy Officer), they will focus on business development at Pontely. Pontely cooperates with pet retailers to conduct DNA examination on unpurchased pets and returns the information to retailers…

L to R: Kazuhiro Aoyagi (CSO of Pontely), Toshiki Tamura (CEO), Dai Shinohara (COO)

See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Ignition Point announced last month that it had founded a subsidiary named Pontely which deals with pet distribution / lifecycle business based on DNA information of pets. Partnering with pet retailers across Japan, it provides information about potential risk of various diseases based on genetic information to customers considering the purchase of pets, aiming to reduce negligence or euthanization. Initially, the firm plans to provide a business targeting canines exclusively.

Earlier last month, The Bridge reported that Kazuhiro Aoyagi retired from CEO of Secual, returning to Ignition Point to work on new business creation (he mentioned that Ignition Point aims to create two businesses every year). Pontely is the fifth case in this context.

Toshiki Tamura and Dai Shinohara, the two being from the financial IT major Simplex, were appointed to CEO and COO respectively. Shinohara joined the team recently and Tamura had been mulling the possibilities of new businesses while being engaged in consulting works at Ignition Point. Bringing Aoyagi onboard as CSO (Chief Strategy Officer), they will focus on business development at Pontely.

Pontely cooperates with pet retailers to conduct DNA examination on unpurchased pets and returns the information to retailers free of charge,  in principle. The retailers provide the information to customers and pays a certain amount of remuneration to Pontely after a pet is sold. Pontely issues certification to pet retailers that participate in this program. Aoyagi explains Pontely’s business model:

This model is similar to the internet provider Yahoo BB that increased its customers by free distribution of routers and collected provider charges afterward. We provide free DNA examination and aim to increase the number of pet retailers participating in our platform.

Pet retailers can automatically obtain high reliability without additional cost. Aoyagi had a similar idea at Secual but gave up on this Yahoo BB style due to high manufacturing costs as to IoT (Internet of Things) sensors.

Every pet-related business including pet insurance or pet food begins at pet retailers in most cases. There are 5,000 pet retailers in Japan but no super-major chain except mid-sized ones like Kojima. The pet market is one of the promising industries so Pontely could capture a large market share if they can cover this virtual mesh.

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Translated by Taijiro Takeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomerory