Willbox, a Japanese Logistics Innovator Raising JPY700 Million in Series A Funding

Today, Willbox announced it has raised JPY700 million (US$4.8 million) in Series A funding

Online PR News – 24-November-2022 – Yokohama – Today, Willbox announced it has raised JPY700 million (US$4.8 million) in Series A funding — a sign of increased digital adoption in the logistics industry and investors’ confidence in the opportunities ahead.

SMBC Venture Capital, one of Japan's leading banks, led the investment round, joined by new backers Mizuho Capital, Salesforce Ventures, and Industrial Technology Investment Corporation from Taiwan, and existing investors, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, Marubeni Ventures, and ANOBAKA.

Global crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, have caused significant disruption to global supply chains, with international shipping prices soaring four to ten times in just two years. [1] Additionally, logistics players rely heavily on their own global networks to achieve scale within a highly competitive and relatively low-margin industry. As a result, the logistics industry is facing three main challenges — high costs, high risk, and low efficiency. Willbox is solving the challenge of inefficient industrial structure and limited options due to a lack of digitalization. Since 2019, Willbox has provided comprehensive logistics solutions by combining SaaS with information and communication technology via an open logistics platform to better connect Japanese manufacturing companies and logistics providers.

Today, the company has expanded the scope of what it does for customers, and its overall engagement. Through the company’s marketplace and SaaS platform, Giho, Willbox is focused on providing logistics solutions and continuous feedback to its customers, 80 percent of which are publicly listed companies. Giho users can not only order logistics services but also lead to the “best” trading solutions, which logistics strategies are working, and which are not, and keep in touch with every logistics player involved in the supply chain so they can track and change logistics plans more quickly.

“Giho is an intelligent global logistics platform.” said Motonari Kami, founder of Willbox. “What we are doing is providing an accurate and faster logistics experience for users, helping them improve their supply chains to increase profitability.”

Willbox’s concept has resonated with investors. “Willbox is a vibrant team led by CEO Kami with extensive logistics knowledge and experiences.” said Tetsuji Nakano, Vice President of the 4th Investment Management Department. “Since our supporting from the last pre-A round, we have seen the dramatic change in the logistics industry due to COVID-19. However, by analyzing the challenges and needs of both supply-and-demand side, Willbox has been able to seize the moment of change and provide shipper an access to a global network with extremely wide range of logistics options. We will do our utmost to support Willbox's further growth.”

While the COVID-19 pandemic has roiled international trading, it has played an important role in Willbox’s growth and success. Due to the increased demand for shipping containers, Willbox has been working with shipping companies and logistics forwarders, resulting in over 193 shipping lines and 243 routes available via the Giho platform, and Willbox has achieved 100% secured space for shipper’s cargo.

"We have established a system that enables us to provide a full range of logistics functions including securing of containers," noted Kami, "and we believe that we are now ready for refreshing growth, which is why we have decided to raise funds this time."

As a leader in innovation, Willbox has created a unique business model which combines open platform SaaS and information and communication technology. Willbox aims to take global supply chains to the next level, in which all logistics elements and resources would be connected, integrated, and shared with every logistics player, building a fully connected digital logistics universe.

About Willbox
Willbox is a tech startup based in Japan providing a global logistics platform called Giho (https://willbox.jp/en). Giho connects manufacturers in Japan, Taiwan, and around the world directly with logistics service providers (transportation, packaging, sea freight, etc.).

Willbox is tackling global logistics issues: high costs and low efficiency. With a specialization in exporting large machinery and industrial products, Willbox manages to provide logistics quotes instantly and reduces logistics costs by an average of 15 percent.

Willbox expects to connect and manage all logistics elements, integrate and share logistics resources to every logistics player and thereby build a logistics metaverse which intelligently connects everyone, everything, everywhere.

[1] (c) 2021 The Economist Newspaper Limited. December 18, 2021 All rights reserved.