We develop and operate a real-time offline information platform called “macci”. Our mission is to provide a business-mapping tool with investigations most quickly and thoroughly as possible of the “up-to-date” information of the city not to be found on web searches.
Currently, there are about 620 investigators based in Kansai and Kanto, who are investigating on every street in all 24 wards of Osaka and 23 wards of Tokyo with information on daily updates. These include construction sites for new real estate, parking, job recruitment advertisements, new stores and facilities and empty lots. Real estate and advertisement companies, as well as other enterprises, utilize this information for multiple purposes. As of present, we own a large database with over 500,000 retention data and we will continue to collect offline information to evolve and expand our offerings as one of the infrastructures for businesses in the world.
――What problem are you trying to solve?
A city’s ever-changing “up-to-date” information cannot be attained quickly enough through the internet. We investigate and create data of such eluding information, and develop a system and applications to raise efficiency in sales and marketing in many business settings. The kind of data we are collecting is information that changes daily. Currently, each company is using their own workers, investing time, effort, and cost to search these data.
Also, our company hires mothers who may have employment difficulties having children, as well as seniors as information investigators. In this way, the company is working on employment expansion.
――Why did you choose Osaka?
We began our business in Osaka, because it has a lot of energy with commerce and business, and is a developing city with many opportunities ahead including Expo 2025 being held in the near future.
――What do you think about Osaka’s startup community?
Entities such as OIH (Osaka Innovation Hub) and Sansokan (Osaka Business Creation Center) are very supportive of startups. There are many opportunities for networking, and the environment as a startup ecosystem is well established. At the same time, I feel that Osaka has significantly fewer engineers compared to Tokyo, and difficulty finding human resources who serve a CTO (Chief Technology Officer) position is a problem here. In addition, it would be great if there is a cooperative environment for startups to carry out feasibility or POC testing with local governments on a small scale which I have seen in Fukuoka City.
――How has Osaka’s Governments (City & Prefecture) helped your startup?
We have utilized services such as OSAP (OIH Seed Acceleration Program), Osaka Top Runner Qualification and Growth Support and Sansokan for business expansion, fund raising, and PR/advertisement activities. By 2023 our company aims for IPO, therefore, these supporting systems are extremely beneficial for us.
――Where is your favorite place in Osaka and why?
My favorite is Dotonbori in the Chuo Ward of Osaka. I believe it is a symbolic area of Osaka, as it has always been an energetic center. There has been an increase in demand for businesses and commerce due to increasing overseas visitors.
――Do you have advice for people considering doing a startup in Osaka?
To fully utilize the support provided through Prefecture and City of Osaka. Especially for startups that are in the phase where getting enough resources, such as people, goods or money, is still a challenge, I feel their support could be very beneficial.