Tokyo-based Sixty Percent (60%), the Japanese startup running a cross-border e-commerce platform focused on Asian fashion brands under the same name, announced on Wednesday that it has secured 460 million yen (about $3 million US) in a Series A round.
Participating investors are KURONEKO Innovation Fund (managed by Yamato Holdings and Global Brain), Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, PE&HR, Hakobune, Frontier International, Japanese hip-hop music producer Verbal as well as unnamed individual investors. The amount includes debt from financial institutions.
This follows the startup’s pre-series A round revealed in May of 2021 when KURONEKO Innovation Fund and Mitsubishi UFJ Capital participated. The latest round brought the startup’s funding sum up to date to about 650 million yen (about $4.4 million US).
Since its launch back in July of 2018, Sixty Percent has been running a marketplace-styled online select store for Asian street fashion brands. Five years passed since its launch, and the platform has now 100,000 items from more than 1,500 brands.
Compared to the previous funding round back in April of 2021, their monthly gross merchandise value was over quintupled while the number of brands was over tripled. Many of the brands dealt on the platform are niche indie ones that have been launched in Japan for the first time, while 90% of users are in their teens to 20s (Gen Z) with an average age of about 21 years old.
Since the platform is a marketplace where brands sell directly to consumers, but if their items were transported directly from their countries in Asia, they would have to go through customs procedures and shipping costs would be high. In order to eliminate these problems, The platform offers fulfillment, aggregation, logistics, and payment services based on technology, acting as an intermediary between brands and users as well.
According to founder and CEO Taiga Manabe, while the previous pre-series A round funding was intended to help the company mature e-commerce experience, it will now more focus more on strengthening marketing effort with the latest funding. The platform is designed for domestic sales in Japan but has confirmed purchases from users in about 50 countries.
Starting with Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other Greater China countries, the platform is rolling out global expansion by making its mobile app multilingual, supporting multi-currency payments, and improving logistics. To optimize logistics, customs and shipping procedures, the company may collaborate with Yamato Holdings, one of the investors.
By joining the company as a individual investor and advisor, Japanese hip-hop music producer Verbal will assist the company in branding and business development. In addition, the company will strengthen its hiring effort for all positions including CxO candidates, engineers, product managers, marketing, and content planning.