Additional funding of 900 million yen was raised from UTokyo IPC and other sources, bringing the total funding to 3 billion yen.
TradeWaltz, which operates an international trading platform with funding
TradeWaltz is strongly promoting trade DX in an “all-Japan” way,
UTokyo Innovation Platform Co., Ltd.
Mitsui-Soko Holdings Co., Ltd.
TW Link Corporation
UTokyo Innovation Platform Co., Ltd. (UTokyo IPC), Mitsui-Soko Holdings Co., Ltd., Nissin Corporation, TW Link Corporation, and TradeWaltz Inc., which operates the international trade information-sharing platform “TradeWaltz®,” are excited to announce that four new investors have agreed on a joint investment of 900 million yen in TradeWaltz. The cumulative amount of funds raised by TradeWaltz has now reached
3 billion yen.
TradeWaltz’s aim is to completely digitize analog communications in trading between Japan and other countries. It was launched in November 2020 with funding from seven companies, including NTT DATA Corporation. Working together with the Japanese government, it is promoting the domestic dissemination of the TradeWaltz international trade information-sharing platform, which has been shown to improve the efficiency of trading procedures by more than 50 percent through trade consortium activities designed to promote digital transformation (DX).
Promoting TradeWaltz in Japan requires the cooperation of logistics companies that want to bring DX to trade. To truly realize trade DX in an “all-Japan” way (i.e., all sectors in Japan joining forces), it is necessary to combine academic knowledge with know-how from the public and private sectors, and have industry, government and academia work together to develop a vision for the future of international trade and data-based value-added services.
TradeWaltz has begun promoting this system to domestic logistics companies, as well as studying new logistics DX services, as logistics companies such as Mitsui-Soko, Nissin, and TW Link become new shareholders in TradeWaltz. UTokyo IPC will assist TradeWaltz to study jointly with the University of Tokyo what kind of value-added services can be created by utilizing the data accumulated by TradeWaltz with users’ consent.
■Initiative with UTokyo IPC
UTokyo IPC operates the AOI Fund 1, which is based on the idea of fostering and investing in start-ups through collaboration between companies and academia. This investment company has taken on the challenge of using new methods to establish start-ups and make investments, such as “carve-outs” (which allow a company to capitalize on a business segment from outside investors) from leading companies in various industries, as well as setting up joint ventures.
The decision to invest in TradeWaltz was made with the aim of bringing DX to international logistics – crucial to a major trading nation like Japan – through TradeWaltz’s high level of technical skill, its ability to create large-scale business concepts, and backup from big companies all over Japan.
After providing funds as the only financial investor in the company, UTokyo IPC will provide support for TradeWaltz’s public offering by harnessing its expertise accumulated through numerous start-up investments and IPOs. In addition to investment, Professor Fuhito Kojima, who returned from Stanford University to assume the post of Director of the Market Design Center at the University of Tokyo, has joined the TradeWaltz Advisory Board. UTokyo IPC will also continue to support the company’s industry–academia collaboration activities.
*Professor Fuhito Kojima is a world-leading economist who specializes in “market design,” which is based on the conception and social implementation of new markets through data matching. Based on the data that will be accumulated at TradeWaltz in the future (with users’ consent), he plans to provide advice on various functions and fields such as the marketplace (commercial matching), cargo matching and logistics optimization (logistics matching), as well as a network of researchers around the world.
■Initiative with Mitsui-Soko
Mitsui-Soko is a comprehensive logistics company that supports the critical social infrastructure of logistics. Digital transformation of logistics is an essential foundation for the realization of DX for corporate clients and other stakeholders. Mitsui-Soko aims to create and provide new value to a diversifying world by building a platform that contributes to the optimization and efficiency of supply chain management through logistics DX. As part of this effort, Mitsui-Soko and TradeWaltz will work together to digitize documents and automate operations in international trade by combining the advanced technological capabilities of TradeWaltz with the logistics expertise of Mitsui-Soko HD.
■Initiative with Nissin
Since establishing a Logistics DX Promotion Office in April 2021, Nissin has been developing new logistics services with the aim of advancing international logistics.
By utilizing TradeWaltz’s trade platform infrastructure, Nissin aims to digitize its forwarding services and provide shippers with a faster, easy-to-understand international logistics portal service. Nissin is also working on the visualization of international logistics using IoT technology. By combining that with TradeWaltz’s blockchain technology, it aims to take on the challenge of creating a smooth and efficient global supply chain.
■Initiative with TW Link
TW Link is a joint venture established in July 2021 by Kanematsu Corporation, a general trading company and shareholder of TradeWaltz, together with 4 logistics companies* with which Kanematsu has close relationships. The aim is to jointly promote logistics DX by introducing TradeWaltz and increasing TradeWaltz’s corporate value. The equity currently held by Kanematsu will be transferred to TW Link, which will make an additional investment in TradeWaltz. In addition to providing logistics-related knowledge and promoting the use of the service to shippers and logistics companies, it aims to provide support to TradeWaltz through tie-ups with logistics platforms.
*Kawanishi Warehouse Co., Ltd., Suzue Corporation Co., Ltd., Daito Koun Co., Ltd., and Fuji Warehouse Corporation
【Comments from parties concerned】
UTokyo IPC President and CEO Katsuhiko Oizumi
”There is a strong social need for the digitization of international trade procedures, but it is extremely difficult to achieve this goal. Since TradeWaltz comprises a team with technological prowess and business conceptual capabilities, and is organized as a consortium of large companies, we think it has a strong chance of success. In addition, with the appointment of Professor Fuhito Kojima of the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Economics as an advisory board member, we can also expect new services to be created from the trade data it will produce. UTokyo IPC would like to support this project, since it will have a big ripple effect on the entire industry, and we are very happy to be able to work in collaboration as a shareholder.”
Mitsui-Soko Holdings President and CEO Hirobumi Koga
“In the value creation process of our group, we place emphasis on the creation of new value and a sustainable society through logistics services. Based on the recognition that the realization of a DX would be difficult for individual companies without logistics DX, we will contribute to DX with the cooperation of TradeWaltz, its shareholders, and experts from academia, and fulfill our responsibility as a company that supports social infrastructure.”
Nissin President Masahiro Tsutsui
“We decided to take a stake in TradeWaltz because we see eye-to-eye with the firm, which aims to create an international trade platform that not only digitizes trade procedures but also revolutionizes the trade process. We want to contribute to international logistics DX through TradeWaltz by utilizing our knowledge and experience in international logistics.”
TW Link President Kazuyasu Shigeta
“We established TW Link, which brings together shippers and logistics companies, based on our recognition that a lack of understanding and coordination among workers handling logistics-related matters was the main reason for the lack of progress in the digitization of international trade procedures in the past, and to resolve this bottleneck. From the broad perspective of logistics, we are determined to help develop TradeWaltz into a safe, secure, and smooth international trading platform.”
TradeWaltz President and CEO Hirohisa Kojima
“We would like to express our sincere gratitude to UTokyo IPC from academia and Mitsui-Soko, Nissin, and TW Link from the logistics industry for taking a stake in our company. Together with the new shareholders that we have welcomed on this occasion, we will strive to promote our services in Japan and deepen our concept of developing future trade and services in an “all-Japan” way with academia, industry and government.”
■ About TradeWaltz
Trade name: TradeWaltz Inc.
Representative: Hirohisa Kojima, President and CEO
Address: 2F, Marunouchi Nijubashi Building, 2-2 Marunouchi 3-Chome, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo 100-0005 Japan
Date of Establishment: April 2020
Detail of Operation: Provision of SaaS(Note) of TradeWaltz, a blockchain technology-based trade information-sharing platform
（Note）Saas stands for Software as a Service. A mechanism for users to access necessary software functions via the Internet.
＊TradeWaltz is a registered trademark of TradeWaltz Inc. in Japan.
＊All other product names, company names, and organization names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
|UTokyo IPC: Kei Furukawa Email: email@example.com
Mitsui-Soko corporate planning department PR office Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nissin Tel: 03-3238-6583 (business strategy division logistics DX promotion office)
TW Link Tel: 03-5440-9094 (Kanematsu Corporation Traffic & Insurance Dept.)
TradeWaltz PR personnel Email: email@example.com