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Japanese crowdfunding site Makuake files for IPO

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Tokyo-based Makuake, the crowdfunding site under the umbrella of Japanese tech giant CyberAgent (TSE:4751), announced today that the IPO application to the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) has been approved. The company will be listed on the TSE Mothers Market on December 11, is expected to reach $155 million valuation. Founded back in May of 2013 as the previous name of CyberAgent Crowdfunding, Makuake has been offering a rewards-type crowdfunding service under the same name since then. In collaboration with celebrities, the company has launched many notable crowdfunding projects, thus attracting more users. They are also massive to partner with other firms from overseas doing the same business for international expansion. According to the consolidated statement of this year’s third quarter ending on September 30, they posted revenue of 916.8 million yen (about $8.4 million) with an operating profit of 56.3 million yen ($515,000), an ordinary profit of 59.3 million yen ($543,000), and a net profit of 42 million yen ($384,000). The company had experienced failures such as no deals on certain campaigns in the past, which forced them to take prevention measures and declined temporarily their sales, but has become profitable since the fiscal period ending in September 2017. They…

CEO Ryotaro Nakayama speaks at Makuake Meet-up Day, the company’s annual conference held in Tokyo in August.
Image credit: Masaru Ikeda

Tokyo-based Makuake, the crowdfunding site under the umbrella of Japanese tech giant CyberAgent (TSE:4751), announced today that the IPO application to the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) has been approved. The company will be listed on the TSE Mothers Market on December 11, is expected to reach $155 million valuation.

Founded back in May of 2013 as the previous name of CyberAgent Crowdfunding, Makuake has been offering a rewards-type crowdfunding service under the same name since then. In collaboration with celebrities, the company has launched many notable crowdfunding projects, thus attracting more users. They are also massive to partner with other firms from overseas doing the same business for international expansion.

According to the consolidated statement of this year’s third quarter ending on September 30, they posted revenue of 916.8 million yen (about $8.4 million) with an operating profit of 56.3 million yen ($515,000), an ordinary profit of 59.3 million yen ($543,000), and a net profit of 42 million yen ($384,000).

The company had experienced failures such as no deals on certain campaigns in the past, which forced them to take prevention measures and declined temporarily their sales, but has become profitable since the fiscal period ending in September 2017. They now have almost 60 employees in their team.

Led by CyberAgent (71.36%), Makuake’s major shareholders include Japanese footballer Keisuke Honda’s KSK Angel Fund (13.71%) and the company’s CEO Ryotaro Nakayama (5.05%). CyberAgent’s ratio of shareholding will drop to less than 60% since CyberAgent and KSK are expected to sell their shares after the public offering.

Makuake, Citiesocial join forces to help Japan crowdfunded products reach Asian markets

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See the original story in Japanese. Tokyo-based Makuake, the Japanese company behind the leading crowdfunding site under the same name, announced today that it has partnered with Taipei-based e-commerce platform Citisocial. Through the partnership, the Tokyo company will help campaign owners having succeeded in crowdfunding expand their products into Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia — four markets in Southeast Asia where the Taipei startup is serving. As an international expansion effort for Makuake, this follows their partnership with Korean crowdfunding site Wadiz back in July of last year, which is aimed to create more cross-border crowdfunding deals between the two nations. Founded back in 2011, Citiesocial is an e-commerce platform focused on curating excellently designed and unique lifestyle products from all around the world. They have secured seed and series A rounds to date, raising a total of $2.8 million US from Alibaba Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund, Cherubic Ventures, and CDIB Capital. The platform has dealt with over 60,000 items by partnering with more than 2,000 brands. As the first joint effort of the partnership, Makuake will handpick some 20 products from the campaigns having succeeded on the crowdfunding platform so that Citiesocial help these campaign owners sell their products…

See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Makuake, the Japanese company behind the leading crowdfunding site under the same name, announced today that it has partnered with Taipei-based e-commerce platform Citisocial. Through the partnership, the Tokyo company will help campaign owners having succeeded in crowdfunding expand their products into Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia — four markets in Southeast Asia where the Taipei startup is serving.

As an international expansion effort for Makuake, this follows their partnership with Korean crowdfunding site Wadiz back in July of last year, which is aimed to create more cross-border crowdfunding deals between the two nations.

makuake-products-on-citiesocial
Japanese products having succeed in crowdfunding campaigns on Makuake attract Citiesocial users.
Image credit: citiesocial

Founded back in 2011, Citiesocial is an e-commerce platform focused on curating excellently designed and unique lifestyle products from all around the world. They have secured seed and series A rounds to date, raising a total of $2.8 million US from Alibaba Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund, Cherubic Ventures, and CDIB Capital. The platform has dealt with over 60,000 items by partnering with more than 2,000 brands.

As the first joint effort of the partnership, Makuake will handpick some 20 products from the campaigns having succeeded on the crowdfunding platform so that Citiesocial help these campaign owners sell their products on the e-commerce platform.

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Japan’s Makuake ties up with Korea’s Wadiz for more cross-border crowdfunding deals

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See the original story in Japanese. Tokyo-based Makuake, the Japanese company behind crowdfunding platform under the same name, announced on Thursday that it has partnered with Wadiz, the Seoul-based company running the same business in Korea. This partnership is intended to help their crowdfunding campaign owners in Japan and Korea better promote in their counterpart market, and there are no capital ties between the two companies. Established in May 2012, Wadiz was officially approved by the Korea Financial Services Committee in January 2016 as an equity-type crowdfunding platform and currently offers two types of crowdfunding services: equity and reward. The company has supported so far about 2,500 crowdfunidng projects and help them fundraise more than 30 billion won (about $26.5 million US). Past famous projects include a complete meal replacement called Lab Nosh, a portable air purifier called Clair, and a handmade car manufacturing service called Mohenic Garages. In the future, the company plans to expand into Singapore, Malaysia, and other markets. There have been cases until now on both the Makuake and Wadiz platforms where project owners in Japan and Korea have taken it upon themselves to launch crowdfunding campaigns on each of their counterpart platforms. Both companies received…

From left: Makuake CEO Ryotaro Nakayama, Wadiz Co-founder and CBO Dong Choi

See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Makuake, the Japanese company behind crowdfunding platform under the same name, announced on Thursday that it has partnered with Wadiz, the Seoul-based company running the same business in Korea. This partnership is intended to help their crowdfunding campaign owners in Japan and Korea better promote in their counterpart market, and there are no capital ties between the two companies.

Established in May 2012, Wadiz was officially approved by the Korea Financial Services Committee in January 2016 as an equity-type crowdfunding platform and currently offers two types of crowdfunding services: equity and reward. The company has supported so far about 2,500 crowdfunidng projects and help them fundraise more than 30 billion won (about $26.5 million US). Past famous projects include a complete meal replacement called Lab Nosh, a portable air purifier called Clair, and a handmade car manufacturing service called Mohenic Garages. In the future, the company plans to expand into Singapore, Malaysia, and other markets.

There have been cases until now on both the Makuake and Wadiz platforms where project owners in Japan and Korea have taken it upon themselves to launch crowdfunding campaigns on each of their counterpart platforms. Both companies received encouragement from KOTRA (Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency), which ultimately led to this business partnership. In cooperation with related companies, Makuake and Wadiz will support project owners by developing campaigns from Japan to Korea and vice versa, translating explanations and backer interactions, providing local logistics, settlement means and so on.

Up to now, examples of projects introduced by Makuake to Wadiz include Tidy ( Makuake / Wadiz ), a wallet that is easy to organize, and Soladey Rhythm ( Makuake / Wadiz ), a toothbrush that removes plaque with negative electrons and sound vibration. Additionally, with Japan as the theme, we’ve seen projects like creating a Korean version of “Miracles of the Namiya General Store” Japanese movie as well as Saeki’s hand-made glove products on Wadiz.

When The Bridge reached out to Makuake CEO Ryotaro Nakayama he suggested that one way to support the distribution of projects originating in Japan to the world is to strengthen and expand their relationships especially around Asia. Nakayama related that, as Makuake’s beta version in English is insufficient for localization, the company wants to be flexible in thinking about how to tie-up with potential partners and business alliances in each country, and is looking to increase business partnerships similar to the one with Wadiz.

Translated by Amanda Imasaka
Edited by Masaru Ikeda

Makuake, Fukuoka City join forces to help startups expand into Japan via crowdfunding

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See the original story in Japanese. Japanese major crowdfunding platform Makuake and Fukuoka, the western Japanese city known for having been designated as a special economic zone for encouraging global entrepreneurship, announced today that they will jointly help foreign startups expand into the Japanese market by helping launch their crowdfunding campaigns. Fukuoka City will help foreign startups, that have their own product, launch their crowdfunding campaign by recommending them to Makuake while the city looks to utilize existing schemes to help these startups gain funds, office locations and business opportunities. Startups having launched their crowdfunding campaign can typically enjoy the benefits of improving their public awareness and gaining necessary funds, in addition to making it easier to obtain loans on their own from financial institutions and cultivate distribution channels through user validation results. See also: Cities of Japan’s Fukuoka, Taiwan’s Taipei agree on mutual startup support initiatives Cities of Japan’s Fukuoka, France’s Bordeaux shake hands to support drone startups Makuake has dealt with more than 100 crowdfunding campaigns from foreign enterprises and startups. Meanwhile, led by its startup support arm called Global Startup Center, Fukuoka City has been focused on inviting foreign startups to set up shop there. As part…

See the original story in Japanese.

Japanese major crowdfunding platform Makuake and Fukuoka, the western Japanese city known for having been designated as a special economic zone for encouraging global entrepreneurship, announced today that they will jointly help foreign startups expand into the Japanese market by helping launch their crowdfunding campaigns.

Fukuoka City will help foreign startups, that have their own product, launch their crowdfunding campaign by recommending them to Makuake while the city looks to utilize existing schemes to help these startups gain funds, office locations and business opportunities. Startups having launched their crowdfunding campaign can typically enjoy the benefits of improving their public awareness and gaining necessary funds, in addition to making it easier to obtain loans on their own from financial institutions and cultivate distribution channels through user validation results.

See also:

Makuake has dealt with more than 100 crowdfunding campaigns from foreign enterprises and startups. Meanwhile, led by its startup support arm called Global Startup Center, Fukuoka City has been focused on inviting foreign startups to set up shop there.

Partnering scheme

As part of the partnership, both parties have just started helping to run two crowdfunding campaigns: Coffee Pixels – a solid coffee bar from Latvia (see this for campaign) – and Hope English – an English e-learning service from Taiwan (see this for campaign).

Celebrating its fifth year since the launch, Makuake has been cultivating potential crowdfunding projects from rural areas in Japan in partnership with regional banks. In the meantime they set up a branch office in Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido last month. Through the partnership with Fukuoka City, we can expect they will further cultivate crowdfunding campaigns from Fukuoka and Kyushu regions as well as to help foreign startups gain more exposure in the Japanese market.

Translated by Masaru Ikeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy

Japanese startup consortium sets up robotics-focused category on major crowdfunding site

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See the original story in Japanese. Makuake, a crowdfunding platform operated by CyberAgent, recently partnered with the i-Roobo Network Forum and added a new category focused on robotics-focused crowdfunding campaigns. The i-RooBo Network Forum is a consortium of startups in partnership with local governmental organizations in Kyoto and Osaka. The consortium established a flagship project called iRooBo * 100 to encourage development of 100 different types of robots by 2020. To raise money for the initiative they established a crowdfunding robotics category. Prior to this announcement, the desktop arm robot project (see video below) kicked off its crowdfunding campaign last month and raised more than 500,000 yen ($5,000) on the Makuake platform in only three days. The newly established category will list robotics projects from the consortium’s member companies, which require financial or other cooperative assistance. Upcoming listed projects include: Gadget/mobile app that encourages teeth brushing through an enjoyable user experience Soap bubble generator for kids It will be exciting to see what projects will be born out of the robotics-focused crowdfunding category.

makuake-iroobonetwork_logos

See the original story in Japanese.

Makuake, a crowdfunding platform operated by CyberAgent, recently partnered with the i-Roobo Network Forum and added a new category focused on robotics-focused crowdfunding campaigns. The i-RooBo Network Forum is a consortium of startups in partnership with local governmental organizations in Kyoto and Osaka.

The consortium established a flagship project called iRooBo * 100 to encourage development of 100 different types of robots by 2020. To raise money for the initiative they established a crowdfunding robotics category.

Prior to this announcement, the desktop arm robot project (see video below) kicked off its crowdfunding campaign last month and raised more than 500,000 yen ($5,000) on the Makuake platform in only three days.

The newly established category will list robotics projects from the consortium’s member companies, which require financial or other cooperative assistance. Upcoming listed projects include:

  • Gadget/mobile app that encourages teeth brushing through an enjoyable user experience
  • Soap bubble generator for kids

It will be exciting to see what projects will be born out of the robotics-focused crowdfunding category.

Support this campaign to transform yourself with smartglasses

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This is the abridged version of our original article in Japanese. In May eyeglasses retail chainstore Jins, of Japan, unveiled smartglasses product Jins Meme. This product garnered extensive consumer attention due to the marked conceptual contrast with the Google Glass eyewear. A rival smartglasses product called Fun’iki Ambient Glasses has been developed by Paris Miki Holdings, another major Japanese optical retailer. The firm recently started a crowdfunding campaign with the goal of raising 3 million yen ($30,000) on Makuake, a crowdfunding platform operated by Japanese internet conglomerate CyberAgent. The glasses link to a smartphone to relay through light and sound a variety of information such as e-mail notifications, social media updates, schedule reminders, stock price movements, and weather updates. Powered by compact USB rechargeable Li-ion batteries, multicolored LEDs automatically light up the lenses according to personalized settings. The prototype smartglasses were introduced at Mobile World Congress earlier this year. The new version is now smaller yet has additional features like a smartphone illumination which warns users if they inadvertently leave the glasses behind.

detail_307_FUNIKI-0046-retouch

This is the abridged version of our original article in Japanese.

In May eyeglasses retail chainstore Jins, of Japan, unveiled smartglasses product Jins Meme. This product garnered extensive consumer attention due to the marked conceptual contrast with the Google Glass eyewear.

funikiambientglass

A rival smartglasses product called Fun’iki Ambient Glasses has been developed by Paris Miki Holdings, another major Japanese optical retailer. The firm recently started a crowdfunding campaign with the goal of raising 3 million yen ($30,000) on Makuake, a crowdfunding platform operated by Japanese internet conglomerate CyberAgent.

funiki-ambient-glasses-on-makuake

The glasses link to a smartphone to relay through light and sound a variety of information such as e-mail notifications, social media updates, schedule reminders, stock price movements, and weather updates. Powered by compact USB rechargeable Li-ion batteries, multicolored LEDs automatically light up the lenses according to personalized settings.

The prototype smartglasses were introduced at Mobile World Congress earlier this year. The new version is now smaller yet has additional features like a smartphone illumination which warns users if they inadvertently leave the glasses behind.

CyberAgent launches its own crowdfunding platform

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Today Japanese internet giant CyberAgent launched a crowdfunding platform called Makuake (meaning ‘beginning’). The company started the service as a rewards-type crowdfunding service, but plans to enhance it to become an investment-type platform in the future. As you may already know, CyberAgent also runs one of Japan’s biggest blogging platforms, Ameba, where many celebrities or entertainers post updates for fans and promote themselves. In collaboration with such celebrities, the company plans to launch many notable crowdfunding projects, thus attracting more users. At the time of launch, we can find seven projects on site. This includes an initiative from a Japanese soccer player to assist young athletes in the country master English so they can better partake in international activities. The company is also inviting a fundraising project to manufacture Raspberry Pi-enabled robot Rapiro, and that will go live later this month. The platform is currently available for PC, and a smartphone version will go live this coming fall. It is expected that Makuake will transact $1 million in deals monthly by next March. Via CNET and IT Media

makuake

Today Japanese internet giant CyberAgent launched a crowdfunding platform called Makuake (meaning ‘beginning’). The company started the service as a rewards-type crowdfunding service, but plans to enhance it to become an investment-type platform in the future.

As you may already know, CyberAgent also runs one of Japan’s biggest blogging platforms, Ameba, where many celebrities or entertainers post updates for fans and promote themselves. In collaboration with such celebrities, the company plans to launch many notable crowdfunding projects, thus attracting more users.

At the time of launch, we can find seven projects on site. This includes an initiative from a Japanese soccer player to assist young athletes in the country master English so they can better partake in international activities. The company is also inviting a fundraising project to manufacture Raspberry Pi-enabled robot Rapiro, and that will go live later this month.

The platform is currently available for PC, and a smartphone version will go live this coming fall. It is expected that Makuake will transact $1 million in deals monthly by next March.

Via CNET and IT Media

makuake_screenshot