Activity Report Vol. 3: About the Company that Started the Project
We would like to introduce Tokyo Otaku Mode (TOM), the company that will lead our project.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read more about our Otaku Coin project. In this activity report, we would like to introduce Tokyo Otaku Mode (TOM), the company that will lead our project.
1. About Tokyo Otaku Mode
Through its Facebook page with over 20 million likes and its e-commerce site, the Tokyo Otaku Mode Shop, TOM delivers the latest news and products from Japanese anime, manga, games, music, and fashion to fans around the world. TOM also designs and distributes authentic merchandise to customers in over 130 countries. Its mission is to “deliver happiness to the world through otaku culture,” and it continues to make consistent efforts in serving as a bridge through which Japanese pop culture can reach fans around the world.
(TOM Shop homepage: https://otakumode.com/)
(TOM Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/tokyootakumode/)
Company Name: Tokyo Otaku Mode Inc.
Established: April 2012
Business Description: Cross-border e-commerce, media advertising, translation, international shipping, and more.
Number of Employees: 100 (including part-time staff)
2011.03 Established Tokyo Otaku Mode fan page on Facebook
2012.04 Participated in the 500 Startups incubation program
2012.04 Established company in Delaware, USA
2012.08 Launched the otakumode.com beta website
2013.01 Facebook page reached 10 million likes
2013.03 Raised funds from YJ Capital, ITV, and DG Incubation
2013.12 Won the Grand Prix Award at the first Japan Startup Award
2014.02 Japanese brand office moved to Omotesando
2014.06 Facebook page reached 15 million likes
2014.08 Established office and warehouse in Los Angeles, California, USA
2014.09 Raised funds from Cool Japan Foundation
2015.02 Japanese warehouse moved to Maihama with 1,457m2 of storage space
2015.05 Launched store in Tmall Global to accelerate expansion into Chinese market
2016.03 Japanese brand office moved to Shibuya
2016.09 American office and warehouse moved to Portland, OR
2017.01 Began B2B translation and media advertising services
2017.02 Launched international crowdfunding platform Tokyo Mirai Mode
2017.07 Facebook page reached 20 million likes
2. About Tokyo Otaku Mode’s locations
We operate from three different locations.
The first is our Portland Fulfillment Center located in Portland, OR, where approximately 10 staff members work on local marketing and warehouse operations (more details available here). The US, where our fulfillment center is located, and Canada are two countries we focus on, as they contribute to more than 70% of our total sales. The two countries are followed by Australia, China, and the UK in that exact order in terms of the percentage of cross-border e-commerce sales made.
(Inside the Portland Fulfillment Center)
The second location is our Shibuya Office, where we run our cross-border e-commerce business from Japan and also work on other operations. Approximately 60 staff members work in fields related to our e-commerce business, including planning, sales, promotion, product development, product registration, product-related translation, design, development, and customer support. Other operations include business translation, media advertising, and back-office tasks, are stationed here. Because nearly all rights holders of Japanese content are headquartered in Tokyo, the Shibuya Office is our main location for working with licensers. Through the sales of authentic merchandise approved by licensers and products that we have developed, licensing fees are returned to production companies and creators as a form of royalty. We run our cross-border e-commerce business in order to monetize Japanese content consumed overseas so that new content can be created.
(Inside the Shibuya Office)
(The building in which the Shibuya Office is located)
The third location is our Japan Fulfillment Center located in Maihama, Chiba Prefecture. It is our cross-border e-commerce logistics center and is commonly referred to as “factory” by TOM staff members (please click here for more information about why our fulfillment center is called “factory”). Here, approximately 15 staff members work on international shipping, stocking, inventory management, product photography, and other tasks that serve as the foundation for the management of our cross-border e-commerce business.
(Inside the Japan Fulfillment Center)
Members from Japan and various countries in North and South America, Europe, and Asia play their own role and work together in each of our locations.
In addition to the staff members who work in the three locations described above, other members from various places around the world also help us run our business via telecommuting. We have continued to promote Japanese content across borders and time zones, and have contributed to the monetization of content consumed overseas for almost six years. In fact, we will be celebrating our company’s sixth anniversary in April 2018.
3. About cross-border e-commerce
Cross-border e-commerce is TOM’s main business. It involves the sales of merchandise related to Japanese anime, manga, games, and other fields of otaku content to fans outside of Japan.
Through our cross-border e-commerce website, we make between 15,000 to 20,000 shipments per month, with the numbers varying by season. The average total of orders is approximately $100 USD. While maintaining a high level of Japanese-style customer service, which is shown on our average score of 9.57 out of 10 on the satisfaction surveys we send to our customers, we actively promote Japanese content around the world. To maintain our high level of service, we have established a structure that can handle all functions, including merchandise design, warehouse management system (WMS) development, customer support, inventory management, and shipment.
In 2017, we designed merchandise based on Japanese content and developed over 20 authentic products with official licensors.
TOM Projects product development platform: https://otakumode.com/projects
(The Evangelion Tweezers of Longinus that became a hot topic even in Japan)
(The Attack on Titan Desktop Flip Calendar: “I’ve Always Been Talkative” Levi Ver. developed in collaboration with the Attack on Titan series)
Because most of our operations are directed outside of Japan, Tokyo Otaku Mode may appear to be a “mysterious company” to many Japanese fans. We do hope that this activity report will help everyone understand what we do.
We will post updates on this blog once they become available.
If you would like to contact us, please join our Facebook group or offer your feedback through Telegram.
Let’s Enjoy Otaku Life!
Otaku Coin Preparation Committee