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Forest | Today Nation News to support the growth and overseas expansion of sustainable, high-quality products and brands that embody the spirit of Japan

TechnologyForest | Today Nation News to support the growth...

COO Masafumi Nishizawa, CEO Shingo Yuhara, Investor Michael Takahashi (Image Credit: Forest)

Japan has been the birthplace of traditional arts and crafts since ancient times. Skilled craftsmanship, meticulous attention to detail, and a balance of design and function have created a variety of unique Japanese products such as ceramics, traditional textiles, Japanese paper, woodwork, glass, and lunch boxes.

These craftsmanship has been passed down from generation to generation and lives in modern Japan. However, craftsmen who do not have the skills and tools to succeed in sales are left behind in the fast-changing business environment of the 21st century.

In recent years, many e-commerce entrepreneurs have begun launching their own products and brands to meet consumer demand, which shifts from cheap mass-produced products to diversified products that meet individual needs and lifestyles.

Forest, a Japanese e-commerce aggregator, finds sustainable, high-quality products and brands in the spirit of Japan and uses the power of technology to help them grow and enter the international market. The aims.

On November 24, Forest announced that it had completed a 900 million yen seed round led by The University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners (UTEC) and Nordstar Partners. ..

The company plans to use the new funds to acquire more than 300 Japanese e-commerce brands that have been carefully nurtured and collected by entrepreneurs. By applying digital marketing strategies on a large scale, Forest will optimize sales through data analysis, strengthen inventory planning, and support the cross-border expansion of e-commerce.

Forest is currently finalizing its first acquisition. Going forward, we will continue to search for brands with sales of $ 1 million (about 120 million yen) to $ 5 million (about 580 million yen), and in 2022 sales of more than $ 10 million (about 1.15 billion yen). Forest CEO Shingo Yuhara told TechCrunch that the goal is to buy the company.

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The company also plans to raise $ 20-30 million in equity and debt providers in the first half of 2022, Yuhara said.

Forest is focusing on marketplaces such as Amazon, Rakuten, ZOZOTOWN, Yahoo Japan, and Shopify.

Related article: Rainforest raises 3.94 billion yen aiming for brand integration of Amazon marketplace in Asia Pacific

Founded by Yuhara and COO Masafumi Nishizawa in July 2021, Forest competes with e-commerce aggregators such as Rainforest, Una Brands and Thrasio in the international market. Forest claims to be the first Japanese market-specific aggregator. Yuhara says the company doesn’t see Rainforest or Thrasio as pure rivals because it initially focused on the Japanese market.

Thrasio will acquire Japanese brands and products sold on e-commerce platforms such as Amazon Japan in March.Launched Japan branch office

The size of Japan’s e-commerce market in 2020 will reach $ 165 billion (about 19 trillion yen), according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan.reportIs estimating.

“Investing in Forest is one of the largest seed-round investments in our IT sector. I once ran a family-owned apparel business and experienced the anguish and limitations of small businesses. We firmly believe that we can solve problems and unlock the potential of those companies through the power of technology, “said UTEC partner Noriaki Sakamoto. “We look forward to working with experienced founders who challenge this fascinating market opportunity and are honored to be one of the Lead Investors.”

“We are very pleased to be able to invest in Forest, a company that has the advantage of taking advantage of the great opportunities to acquire and scale Japanese niche brands,” said Ole Ruch, managing partner of Nordstar. He says.

[To the original text]

(Sentence: Kate Park, Translation: Nob Takahashi / facebook)

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