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Japan’s Space Market, on-demand venue rental marketplace, files for IPO

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Tokyo-based Space Market, offering a marketplace of unused or idle venues for on-demand rental use, 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 20 with plans to offer 520,000 shares for public subscription and to sell about 269,200 shares in over-allotment options for a total of about 1,274,700 shares. The company’s valuation is expected to reach 5.8 billion yen ($53.3 million) through the IPO. Their ticker code will be 4487. Space Market lists unused or idle venues and allows users to pick one to rent on demand for business or private needs such as corporate meetings, shareholder meetings, training courses, photo shooting of costume players, and other events. The company adds 5% charge on the price in the venue listing for users while it takes 30% commission from venue owners when their deal is made between them and users. According to the consolidated statement as of December 2018, they posted revenue of 578.2 million yen (about $5.3 million) with an ordinary loss of 271.9 million yen ($2.5 million). Led by founder and CEO Dausuke Shigematsu and his asset management company Double…

Space Market CEO Daisuke Shigematsu

Tokyo-based Space Market, offering a marketplace of unused or idle venues for on-demand rental use, 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 20 with plans to offer 520,000 shares for public subscription and to sell about 269,200 shares in over-allotment options for a total of about 1,274,700 shares. The company’s valuation is expected to reach 5.8 billion yen ($53.3 million) through the IPO. Their ticker code will be 4487.

Space Market lists unused or idle venues and allows users to pick one to rent on demand for business or private needs such as corporate meetings, shareholder meetings, training courses, photo shooting of costume players, and other events. The company adds 5% charge on the price in the venue listing for users while it takes 30% commission from venue owners when their deal is made between them and users.

According to the consolidated statement as of December 2018, they posted revenue of 578.2 million yen (about $5.3 million) with an ordinary loss of 271.9 million yen ($2.5 million).

Led by founder and CEO Dausuke Shigematsu and his asset management company Double Pines (47.63%), the company’s major shareholders include Opt Ventures (10.64%), CyberAgent Capital (6.57%), My Navi (2.86%), Orix (2.18%), and Mizuho Capital (1.75%), Tokyo Tatemono (1.46%), XTech (1.46%), and Docomo Innovation Fund (1.46%).

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Japanese crowdsourcing startup Lancers files for IPO

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See the original story in Japanese. Tokyo-based Lancers, the Japanese startup providing a major crowdsourcing platform under the same name, announced on Wednesday 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 16 with plans to offer 2,270,000 million shares for public subscription and to sell up to 1,100,600 shares in over-allotment options, for a total of 5,067,400 shares. Daiwa Securities will lead the underwriting. Its share price range will be released on November 17 with bookbuilding scheduled to start on November 29 and pricing on December 6. According to the consolidated statement as of March 2019, they posted revenue of 2.52 billion yen (about $23.2 million) with an ordinary loss of 93 million yen ($854,000), serving 33,000 companies in Japan while unit sales per client reaches 194,000 yen (about $1,780). See also: Can crowdsourcing startups change Japan’s employment landscape? Lancers CEO Yosuke Akiyoshi on obstacles facing crowdsourcing in Japan Japanese crowdsourcing startup Lancers launches matchmaking platform for regional businesses Since its launch back in 2008, the company has been offering a platform allowing companies outsource tasks to freelancers. The traditional concept of crowdsourcing…

Lancers CEO Yosuke Akiyoshi

See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Lancers, the Japanese startup providing a major crowdsourcing platform under the same name, announced on Wednesday 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 16 with plans to offer 2,270,000 million shares for public subscription and to sell up to 1,100,600 shares in over-allotment options, for a total of 5,067,400 shares. Daiwa Securities will lead the underwriting.

Its share price range will be released on November 17 with bookbuilding scheduled to start on November 29 and pricing on December 6. According to the consolidated statement as of March 2019, they posted revenue of 2.52 billion yen (about $23.2 million) with an ordinary loss of 93 million yen ($854,000), serving 33,000 companies in Japan while unit sales per client reaches 194,000 yen (about $1,780).

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Since its launch back in 2008, the company has been offering a platform allowing companies outsource tasks to freelancers. The traditional concept of crowdsourcing has been that someone in a remote location helps you finish minor tasks at an affordable rate. But platforms like Lancers are being used for more, serving as a primary income stream for some.

Led by CEO Yosuke Akiyoshi (62.47%), the company’s major shareholders include Globis Capital Partners (15.62%), KDDI (5.95%), Persol Holdings (5.38%), GMO Venture Partners (3.05%), Shinsei Bank (2.3%), and Gree Ventures (1.18%, now known as Strive).

Japan’s Money Forward acquires SaaS comparison startup Smartcamp for $18M

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See the original story in Japanese. Tokyo-based Money Forward (TSE:3994), the Japanese company providing cloud-based accounting solutions, announced on Monday that it will take a 72.3% stake in Smartcamp, the Japanese startup behind the Boxil SaaS comparison site and the Bales inside sales support service, for about 2 billion yen, or $18.3 million US. Smartcamp eventually made an exit by joining the Money Forward group. Founded back in June of 2014, Smartcamp launched Boxil back in May of 2015 by pivoting from their previous Sket service through participating twice in Incubate Camp, an annual 2-day bootcamp program by Incubate Fund offering budding entrepreneurs with mentoring opportunities. As of October, the company boasted 1 million monthly page views and more than 120,000 registered users with bringing over 30,000 potential users to SaaS providers. Smartcamp launched a service called Bales back in September of 2017, which allows SaaS providers to outsource their sales operations to the startup. In August, they launched another new service called Biscuit, a cloud-based customer relationship management tool for inside sales. Through these services, the company has successfully been offering marketing channels for over 100 third parties. Meanwhile, Money Forward has been acquiring approximately a startup an year…

Money Forward President & CEO Yosuke Tsuji (right), Smartcamp CEO Satoshi Furuhashi (left)
Image credit: Money Forward

See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Money Forward (TSE:3994), the Japanese company providing cloud-based accounting solutions, announced on Monday that it will take a 72.3% stake in Smartcamp, the Japanese startup behind the Boxil SaaS comparison site and the Bales inside sales support service, for about 2 billion yen, or $18.3 million US. Smartcamp eventually made an exit by joining the Money Forward group.

Founded back in June of 2014, Smartcamp launched Boxil back in May of 2015 by pivoting from their previous Sket service through participating twice in Incubate Camp, an annual 2-day bootcamp program by Incubate Fund offering budding entrepreneurs with mentoring opportunities. As of October, the company boasted 1 million monthly page views and more than 120,000 registered users with bringing over 30,000 potential users to SaaS providers.

Smartcamp launched a service called Bales back in September of 2017, which allows SaaS providers to outsource their sales operations to the startup. In August, they launched another new service called Biscuit, a cloud-based customer relationship management tool for inside sales. Through these services, the company has successfully been offering marketing channels for over 100 third parties.

Meanwhile, Money Forward has been acquiring approximately a startup an year to expand their business, including acquiring Klavis, the Japan-/Singapore-based startup behind accounting and book-keeping software Streamed, as well as knowledgelabo, the Osaka-based startup behind cloud-based business management analytics tool Manageboard.

With the acquisition, Money Forward can boost customer acquisition effort for their product series leveraging Smartcamp’s marketing intelligence while Smarcamp aims to attract more users for their products leveraging Money Forward’s vast network and customer base.

Wassha, power supplier for off-grid Africa, snags $9M from Daikin, Yamaha Motor, others

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See the original story in Japanese. Tokyo-based Wassha, developing a prepaid solar power delivery service to off-grid areas in rural Africa by networking kiosk vendors under the same name, announced today that it has raised 1.01 billion yen (about $9.2 million) in a series B round. Participating investors are Daikin Industries (TSE:6367), Yamaha Motor (TSE:7272), Mistletoe, Mizuho Capital in addition to existing investors such as The University of Tokyo Edge Capital (UTEC) and Marubeni (TSE:8002). The latest round brought their total funding sum up to about 2.4 billion yen (about $22 million). See also: Wassha, power supplier for off-grid Africa, secures $3M from Japan aid agency How Japanese energy startup Wassha delivers prepaid solar power to rural Africa Wassha installs solar panels or battery chargers, then provides LED lanterns, radios, tablets to kiosk operators; the kiosks rent these out to villagers and collect fees from them for charging power at the kiosks. The owners settle the electricity bills from smartphones and power charging boxes for the appliances, not to mention earning at each kiosk by charging money for use of mobile phones. Among the investors participating investors, Wassha aims to develop new business with Daikin Industries, Yamaha Motor, and Mistletoe….

Image credit: Wassha

See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Wassha, developing a prepaid solar power delivery service to off-grid areas in rural Africa by networking kiosk vendors under the same name, announced today that it has raised 1.01 billion yen (about $9.2 million) in a series B round.

Participating investors are Daikin Industries (TSE:6367), Yamaha Motor (TSE:7272), Mistletoe, Mizuho Capital in addition to existing investors such as The University of Tokyo Edge Capital (UTEC) and Marubeni (TSE:8002). The latest round brought their total funding sum up to about 2.4 billion yen (about $22 million).

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Wassha installs solar panels or battery chargers, then provides LED lanterns, radios, tablets to kiosk operators; the kiosks rent these out to villagers and collect fees from them for charging power at the kiosks. The owners settle the electricity bills from smartphones and power charging boxes for the appliances, not to mention earning at each kiosk by charging money for use of mobile phones.

Among the investors participating investors, Wassha aims to develop new business with Daikin Industries, Yamaha Motor, and Mistletoe. We were told that Wassha will unveil details on but the potential joint projects with these investors.

However, it seems like the startup aims to work with Daikin to establish a cold chain, a temperature-controlled food distribution network leveraging air conditioning and refrigeration facilities, and also work with Yamaha Motor to establish a motorcycle-based delivery network connecting the kiosks participating in the Wassha network. Kindly think a somewhat another version of Zipline (drone-based logistics platform in Africa) plus NinjaCart (fresh foods marketing platform in India).

Mistletoe has invested in Zipline and NinjaCart in addition to Agribuddy (microfinance platform for farmers in Southeast Asia) and FOMM (manufacturing floatable electric vehicles). Leveraging Wassha’s kiosk network, Mistletoe is expected to help their portfolio companies expand their solution into the African market.

Having rolled out their service in Tanzania, Wassha is planning to expand into Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, Mozambique, Madagascar, and Ethiopia going forward. While keeping power delivery service in the off-grid area as a their core business, they will cultivate new businesses such as food distribution and marketplace aiming to help farmers get more income, which may lead to gaining the need of power delivery service users.