See the original story in Japanese.PlanBCD
is a platform that helps developers to improve the user interface on their web services. Kaizen Platform Inc.
, the Tokyo-based startup behind the service, announced today that it has raised seed funding worth $800,000 from Gree Ventures, GMO Venture Partners, and CyberAgent Ventures. With these funds, the company plans to intensify its system development and marketing efforts.
[T]here’s a big barrier to optimizing user traffic for clients unless they improve user interface on their websites.
The most remarkable part of the service is that PlanBCD gives you ways to crowdsource the UI and UX improvement process, something which is often difficult to assign someone in your company. The accumulation of A/B testing results will be stored on the service, helping you hand the process over to someone else if necessary.
The service is a combination of an easy-to-implement environment and crowdsourcing features. Kaizen was launched back in March of 2013 by Kenji Sudo. He previously worked at Japanese human resource company, Recruit, supervising the company’s ad-tech services. Sudo explained:
At Recruit, I was involved in ad optimization services for online advertising. But I learned that there’s a big barrier to optimizing user traffic for clients unless they improve user interface on their websites. But if we help them improve their websites, it hurts our overall business efficiency to the point where we can’t work on it. As a result, only rich companies can engage in the improvement process. So this was why we launched the testing service.
He notes that the service has acquired 200 crowdsourced workers for the UI testing operations, and they are appropriately ranked corresponding to their past testing performances.
The service is already used by many clients, including some enterprise companies. It’s a good indication that new business models comprising of a tool and a crowdsoucring service could be trending in the near future.