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Japanese handmade marketplace Creema raises $10M

TechCrunch TechCrunch 27/05/2016 Catherine Shu

Creema is latest handmade marketplace in Asia to raise new funding. The Japanese startup announced this week (link via Google Translate) that it has received 1.1 billion yen (about $10 million) from Globis Capital Partners and returning investor KDDI Open Innovation Fund (the venture fund run by Japanese telecom KDDI).

The startup’s last round was two years ago, when it got 100 million yen from KDDI Open Innovation Fund. Creema was launched in 2010 by CEO Kotaro Marubayashi and currently claims over 2.4 million listings from 60,000 sellers.

In the U.S., leading handmade marketplace Etsy’s shares have fallen since its April 2015 initial public offering, but similar e-commerce platforms in Asia are still getting attention from venture capital firms. For example, Craftsvilla in India has raised $54.5 million so far. Other companies with smaller but still noteworthy rounds of funding include Pinkoi in Taiwan and Blisby in Thailand.

Creema claims its transaction volume grew 450 percent year-over-year, compared to 250 percent for the overall market for handmade goods in Japan. Creema competes with other handmade marketplaces Iichi (which announced a partnership with Pinkoi earlier this year), Minne, and Tetote.

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