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Startup entrepreneur Yusuke Mitsumoto recently made his mark on the e-commerce industry by launching a successful online flea market.
Mitsumoto began with the idea of buying people’s secondhand goods online and paying for them instantly, even without the full guarantee of getting the actual items. From there, he developed an app that allowed people to do just that.
To his surprise, the app became an overnight success, with hundreds of clothes and gadgets flooding his small office in Tokyo just a day after the service was launched. Mitsumoto reintroduced it two months later and renamed it Cash.
The service makes money by appraising an item based on photos sent by users, and then reselling it.
Currently, Japan’s secondhand sales market is valued at ¥1.6 trillion. Mitsumoto saw the potential of this market and used technology to capitalize on it.
Mitsumoto started his career by joining the New York-based company Ogilvy & Mather, to gain a better understanding of how businesses work. Later on, he quit and used his own savings to start Bracket, the mother company of several Japanese online services including Stores.jp, CaFoRe, and most recently, Cash.
The recent success of Cash drew the interest of bigger industry players, including Keishi Kameyama, founder of well-known e-commerce company DMM. Kameyama admits that he admires Mitsumoto’s audacity, but he strongly believes that managing an online business is not just about capital and equipment.
Knowing that rivals would soon launch similar offers, Mitsumoto sold Cash to Kameyama for ¥7 billion to ensure its continued success.