Forest bags $8M seed round to acquire Japanese e-commerce brands 

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Japan has been the birthplace of traditional arts and crafts since ancient times. Craftsmanship, careful attention to detail, and a balance of design and functionality have contributed to the creation of unique Japanese products such as pottery, traditional clothing, washi (paper), woodwork, glasses, bento-boxes, and much more.

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This craftsmanship is passed down from generation to generation and survives in modern Japan. However, craftsmen and women, who do not always have the skills or tools to become influential businessmen, are often left behind in the rapidly evolving business environment of the 21st century.

In recent years, a growing number of e-commerce entrepreneurs have begun to develop their own products and brands, in response to the shift in consumer demand from cheap, mass-produced items to diversified products that meet one’s unique needs. and fulfill the lifestyle.


Forest, a Japanese e-commerce aggregator, seeks to identify sustainable, high quality products and brands that embrace the spirit of Japan and use the power of technology to help them grow and enter the global market.

Forest announced today that it has raised an approximately $8 million (900 million yen) seed round led by University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners (UTEC) And Nordstar Partners,

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The startup will use the new capital to acquire over 300 Japanese e-commerce brands that have been carefully crafted and curated by entrepreneurs. Forrest will implement digital marketing strategies at scale, optimize sales and inventory planning through data analytics and support cross-border e-commerce expansion.

One is currently in the process of finalizing its first acquisition. One’s CEO said it will continue to seek brands that generate between $1 million and $5 million in sales and aims to acquire companies with sales of more than $10 million next year. Shingo Yuhara told Nerdshala.

Yuhara said it plans to raise approximately $20M – $30M of debt and Series A equity capital, with a target of the first half of 2022.

One sees markets including Amazon, Rakuten, zozotown, Yahoo Japan sellers, Shopify and more.

One, founded in July by Yuhara and COO Masa Mishizawa, will compete with other e-commerce aggregators such as Rainforest, Una Brands and Thrasio in the global market. One said it is the first net aggregator dedicated to the Japanese market. Given that One is initially focused on the Japanese market, it doesn’t see Rainforest and Thracio as its pure competitors, Yuhara said.

thrasio Has set up a Japanese office In March to acquire Japanese brands and products sold on Amazon Japan and other e-commerce platforms.

The Japanese e-commerce market was estimated to be $165 billion (19 trillion yen) by 2020, according to a report by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan.

,[The] Investing in One is one of our largest seed round investments within the IT sector. In my past life, I managed my family-owned apparel business and personally experienced the pain and limitations of a small business. I firmly believe that forests can solve these problems and leverage the potential of these businesses through the power of technology,” said partner at UTEC Hiroyuki Sakamoto. “We look forward to working with experienced founders who want to challenge this lucrative market opportunity and we feel privileged to participate as a co-principal investor.”

Nordstar Managing Partner Ole Ruch said, “We are excited to invest in One which is well positioned to take advantage of the huge opportunity to acquire and grow niche brands in Japan.”

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