Our Story — Why was WASO founded? It’s all about honesty and authenticity.
Thought I would just write about why WASO was founded and why I moved to London from Tokyo to start WASO.
So here’s my story. No exaggeration. An honest and authentic story.
When I was a junior high school student, I happened to watch a TV program called “money revolution” with my older brother.
George Soros, a famous fund manager who had donated more than 5 billion dollars to philanthropic projects at that time, was on the program. (I do not remember clearly if I got to know about the donation amount through the TV or whether I researched about it. Also, I understand he has his critics, but who doesn’t.)
I found this quite astonishing (in a positive way), and I started to think that I would like to also become a person who can influence the world in a positive way. Maybe it was a childish thought, but I thought one way to have this impact would be to start a global business.
So then I asked myself “Which business area will it be?”. One time I thought it could be about environmental issues, so I learnt about environmental economics at uni and took an internship at CO2 emissions trading company. Later on, I thought it could be tech-related and so I applied for a part time job at a tech company after learning a bit of HTML, and CSS at uni. But in the end I started to work in finance.
While I was working in finance, I was constantly on the lookout for possible areas to start my business, and I came across an idea utilising tech. I thought I would start it in San Francisco, so I flew to San Francisco in Autumn 2012. I stayed with my engineer friend working at Twitter and having researched for almost 2 weeks, I returned to Japan. After this trip, I didn’t feel motivated to proceed with the idea — an experience which taught me that I should do something that I am passionate about. Then I started to ask myself “What is my passion?”
Since childhood, I took memos in notebooks. I decided to look through these to find inspiration and I found quite a few memos related to Japanese culture and ‘Food x Global’. So I thought why don’t I dig around these areas a bit more? At that time (now as well), everyone tried to start something new in tech. But I am not the kind of person who just follows the crowd.
In 2013 August, I flew to Paris and London, places which I thought it would be good to start a culture-related business from and expand the world over. At that time, I was not fully passionate about this area, but I was strongly interested in it.
This trip changed my life completely.
In London, I observed some Japanese food chains, and found some things which I wasn’t happy with. Don’t get me wrong. I respect all food producers and restaurants. Ultimately, if people like their food, I have no objections. So it wasn’t the food itself that was the issue, it was how the food was marketed that I had a problem with.
At one chain, I saw a dish advertised as “Soumen”, which is supposed to be flour noodles. But actually they used rice noodles. I saw they offered “Prawn tempura” which is just fried prawn with breadcrumbs instead of a flour batter. It was not Tempura. They offer surimi crab meat, but they do not use crab meat actually. One step after I left the store, I already decided that I would create a great brand with honesty and authenticity.
Authenticity is not about authentic Japanese food. I personally like fusion food. Food is art and art cannot be black and white. Authenticity is more about an authentic way of doing things. I thought what I saw was not honest.
After I went back to Japan, I asked myself continuously for two weeks, “are you ready to go?” and my answer was continuously “Yes”.
Having resigned, I travelled around Eastern Japan for a month, and I started to think about the concept of WASO, and all dots were connected here: Global x Japan x Authenticity x Technology = WASO.
So that is why I came over to London from Tokyo to start WASO and we aspire to be a leading digital first food and lifestyle brand that pioneers the principles of honesty and authenticity.
In order to do this on a global scale, we see technology as a key enabler to achieve this — and we are now actively looking to recruit in this area.
In the first step of our journey, we’ve built a unique online food delivery model with no minimum order no delivery fee at desired delivery time.
Then next, we are now trying to integrate more technology into our business such as automation, personalisation, O2O etc.
Now you understand more about WASO probably.
What we are about is not merely providing food to people.
Tasty? That is a prerequisite, but WASO is about something more than that.
We believe everyone should not lie to yourself or to others.
We aim to become a synonym for being honest and authentic and we aim to fill this world with honesty and authenticity.
“Creating a world where everyone believes in their authenticity.”
At WASO, we are now actively looking for engineers and Head of growth!