Shinya Takayanagi is one of the winners of IVS LAUNCHPAD. His company, 207 Inc., first burst onto the scene in a major way: by winning two of the largest startup pitch competitions in Japan—TechCrunch Startup Battle 2020 and IVS2021 Spring LAUNCHPAD. By October 2021, 207 Inc. had raised a total of JPY $500 million from Environment and Energy Investment Corporation, Logistics Innovation Fund, Headline Asia, and DG Daiwa Ventures.
Founder Spotlight of 207: Shinya Takayanagi
Focused on solving last-mile delivery pain points, 207 Inc. is the new star in the Japanese logistics industry. Their four services have solved problems and revolutionized last-mile delivery in the industry:
- TODOCU: Resolve redelivery problems by checking if recipients are at home or not.
- TODOCU Supporter: The app helps couriers resolve redelivery problems. Couriers can use the service to collect recipient information by scanning delivery tickets, managing all addresses on the map, and contacting recipients for scheduling delivery time.
- TODOCU Cloud: A service that streamlines operations for e-commerce and logistics companies, providing real-time management of package status and dynamic management of couriers.
- Sukimabin: This is a gig economy solution that delivers packages by people who want to work in their time gaps in response to the increase of delivery needs because of the growth of e-commerce.
What words would your co-workers describe you?
I have been told that I am a person who makes decisions calmly. I consciously avoid being emotional. I believe that I cannot make the right decision if I am emotional, so I always try to control myself.
Outside of work, what is most important to you?
How to live my life is important to me because we only live once. I believe that work is just one tool to live a meaningful life. The things that I find meaningful change at different points in my life. At the moment, I sincerely want to achieve my mission and vision in 207, and my journey of moving towards [that] goal feels very enjoyable and meaningful.
What influences your approach to the product?
I used to be a backpacker. I was sad that I had to pay rent even though I was away from home for a long period of time. I couldn’t just throw away my appliances and furniture. Why should I keep paying rent for a room I don’t use? At that time, I found out about a service called Summary Pocket, which allows you to leave your belongings in a warehouse and manage them with your smartphone.
I actually went to talk to the company and got involved in the development of the service. While working for Summary Pocket, I realized that there was a need to change the logistics industry, where the last mile was an issue. This led me to come up with my current 207 business.
When did you know you had to start your company?
I became interested in the logistics business around October 2016, but as my industry research at the time, it was rare to see any companies that could help me build the world I wanted to create: A world where anything can be sent anywhere.
I realized that I had to start a company to accomplish what I wanted to do in the logistics field, so I decided to start 207 in December 2017.
What’s something you’re trying to learn?
There are two major things [that I want to learn]. The first is about the methods and experiences when growing an organization. In my current position, I feel that I am able to learn through actual experience every day.
The second is language. I try to challenge myself on a regular basis, but sometimes I don’t have enough time to do so. [Laughs] I’m planning to learn [different] languages so that I can easily go to the countries I want to go to when the world becomes “a world where anything can be sent anywhere.”
What are you most proud of about the company culture of 207?
I’d like to keep sharpening up [the concept of] being open. I want to give it a try to see how much we can continuously improve this culture. I am proud of our culture because I believe that self-disclosure makes a friendly working environment possible.
What product are you most obsessed with?
TODOCU supporter. I had spent the most time building it. Also, it’s a product by which my company reached product-market fit so I am most obsessed about it.
The first step is to have half of all the couriers [in Japan] use TODOCU Supporter. While spreading TODOCU Supporter to individual business owners, we would like to introduce TODOCU Cloud to mid-sized and larger logistics companies.