LAUNCHPAD Winners: Where Are They Now?
As IVS LAUNCHPAD is one of the largest pitch competitions in Japan, there have been a number of success stories that have emerged. LAUNCHPAD was founded with the mission to provide a platform for promising entrepreneurs, and to inspire those who have entrepreneurial aspirations. (We recently announced IVS2021 NASU’s LAUNCHPAD finalists, so be sure to check that out.)
Last time, we talked about all of the LAUNCHPAD finalists exits and funding, as many have made monumental achievements since they pitched their startups to a panel of all-star judges. This time, we’re focusing on the winners of the last three LAUNCHPAD events and following up with them to see what they are up to now. The three companies below have gone on to do incredibly things, and we hope you’re inspired.
Kauche is the winner of the LAUNCHPAD Entertainment in June 2021. Its main business is a share buying service called Kauche that allows customers to enjoy and save money on shopping through group-buying with “share-buying friends” such as their friends and family. With this service, people can invite their friends through SNS to buy in bulk, and if the target buyer number is reached, they can buy the item for 30 to 40 percent less than the lowest price on the Internet.
Kauche was established in April 2020 (it was called X Asia at that time), and in November 2020, it fundraised from ANRI, Global Brain, and Chiba Dojo.
Since Kauche won at LAUNCHPAD in June 2021, it has collaborated with Shizuoka City in July to launch a project for supporting local business owners in expanding sales channels and has sold food as well as daily goods. It plans to scale up this project for local businesses all around Japan. We are looking forward to seeing Kauche advance its share-buying service.
Just recently, in November 2021, the company raised JPY $810 million yen in fundraising from Delight Ventures and SBI Investment, drawing attention to its business development moving forward.
207 solves last-mile logistical issues with Todocu
207 was founded in January 2018 and won at IVS2021Spring LAUNCHPAD in March 2021. It provides TODOCU, a service that can solve redelivery problems by informing couriers about the recipient’s home information and requested delivery methods such as leave-at-door delivery.
In September 2021, after 207 won at LAUNCHPAD in March, it spoke at TechCrunch Disrupt 2021, and soon in October, it raised a total of JPY $500 million from Environment and Energy Investment Corporation, Logistics Innovation Fund, Headline Asia, and DG Daiwa Ventures.
In terms of business development, 207 hasn’t been lagging in that department either. The company does not limit itself to a single service. It is focusing on last-mile logistics, or delivery, by developing services such as unitary management system for courier pickup, TODOCU Supporter, and a platform that connects logistics companies with merchants through APIs, TODOCU Cloud. We expect to witness 207 revolutionize the logistics industry.
Paperwork eliminating SaaS, Kaminashi
Kaminashi, founded in December 2016, was the winner at LAUNCHPAD SaaS in December 2020. (Check their brilliant pitch deck here.) Its main business is a platform that eliminates paperwork in factories, stores, and other workplaces with a no-code automation solution.
In March of the following year after winning LAUNCHPAD in December 2020, it raised a total of about JPY $1.1 billion from ALL STAR SAAS FUND, Coral Capital, and others.
In September 2021, KAMINASHI was adopted in around 350 stores operated by Royal Food Service, which owns Royal Host and Tenya. In October of the same year, KAMINASHI advanced towards TOITSU and the implementation is going to be large-scale, making people excited to see further growth of its business.
*This article was translated from Japanese
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