On October 21, 2015, RCAPS welcomed Mr Ryota Matsuzaki (CEO, Kibidango, Inc.) to deliver an RCAPS seminar entitled, "From Rakuten to Kibidango: Crowdfunding as Viable Tool for Entrepreneurs.”
[Report by APS Professor Yukihiko Nakata]
In the beginning of the seminar, Professor Nakata explained cloud innovation. As information technology (IT) develops, social network services (SNS), social media, crowdfunding, and crowdsourcing have appeared. By utilising crowdfunding, a large number of people can become the main players in the crowd, and create and accelerate innovation. This has been called as crowd innovation and makes it easier to start businesses. Mr Ryota Matsuzaki talked about how crowdfunding is actually used and answered questions from the floor.
After working in the investment bank division of the Industrial Bank of Japan, Mr Matsuzaki established Rakuten with Mr Hiroshi Mikitani and four other members in 2000. Mr Matsuzaki was engaged in M&A in Rakuten Group and became independent in 2011. He was inspired by Kickstarter, the biggest crowdfunding service in the United States, which has made many great ideas into reality. He launched Kibidango, Inc. in Japan in February 2013.
Kibidango has supported 137 projects so far and has gathered 100 million yen. The company uses a method called “All or Nothing” in which, if a certain amount of target money has been raised in a certain period of time, funding support will be given. The success rate so far is 80%. One of the success cases is a camera bag, Ciclissimo, which looks like a messenger bag and allows for taking out a camera quickly. Ciclissimo attracted 6.55 million yen from 226 people. Another case is an artificial arm made using a 3D printer.