In March, we were chosen as one of 8 promising companies to participate in the Mitsubishi UFJ Business Accelerator. After 4 months spent working closely together with the Accelerator Team (including members of the accelerator, Mitsubishi UFG Digital Transformation Department, Mitsubishi Research Institute, and external mentors), we’ve now passed the final stage of the accelerator: the demo day, which gave us a chance to recap our progress over the past months with the distance needed to properly evaluate our achievements over that time.
An overview of our 4 months at the MUFG accelerator in Japan
- MUFG Business Accelerator’s demo day has come to a close
- Program’s mentoring sessions focused on incentivizing Japanese manufacturers
- Collaborating with one of the top 3 packaging companies in Japan
- Collaborating with MUFG to disrupt the industry of trade finance
Closing Out Our Time At The Accelerator
4 months ago, our platform was home to a limited number of SKUs, a modest consumer base, and the first version of our WeChat integrated shop.
Today, we have more than 10,000 consumers in over 300 cities, 250 curated high-demand SKUs, and we’re ready for the imminent launch of our WeChat mini program which aims to further heighten the overall consumer experience.
During our time at the accelerator, we’ve had extensive mentoring sessions. Business accelerators often mentor companies in their early conceptual stages, but our company and its solution is already operational and generating revenue. As a result of this, the mentoring sessions focused less on the business model & investor pitching and more on sales strategies, innovation, and finding the most effective way to convince Japanese manufacturers (most of whom are notoriously picky when it comes to choosing distribution channels) to join the Tael ecosystem.
We’ve had a large number of meetings within the Mitsubishi UFJ Group, as well as 3rd party companies working in close partnership with MUFG. Together, we’re aiming to further develop our technology while also pursuing some exciting new avenues for the Tael ecosystem.
The Next Stage.
As a direct result of our participation in the accelerator program, we were introduced to a multi-billion USD listed, top 3 packaging company in Japan. Specifically catering to the vast majority of Japanese packaged consumer goods manufacturers.
Their initial excitement stemmed from our ability to achieve a 50% scan rate, as their own traceability solution was seeing the usual <5% engagement. Their excitement only grew as we explained the Tael token and its usage in our incentivization program, calling it “something really ingenious.”
Together, we are combining our efforts to approach Japanese manufacturers with a joint solution: they will provide expertise in packaging & hardware and we’ll offer our traceability solution and access to the Tael ecosystem.
This collaboration will undoubtedly result in a very compelling case for Japanese manufacturers. It will also allow us to scale our processing capabilities to handle the volume and throughput required by China’s demand for authentic products. An exciting step that brings us closer to our shared vision of the ‘Internet of Things for consumer products’.
We already have several manufacturers in the pipeline whom we think will be interested in this double offering, including a major baby products manufacturer and a Japanese pharmaceutical giant. Japanese products are the biggest cross-border e-commerce imports for the Chinese market, with Beauty & Personal Care and Mom & Baby products topping that list. These are specifically the products that the Tael ecosystem is currently protecting.
Japan is the no. 1 source of cross-border e-commerce products into China (source)
An additional direction we are pursuing with the MUFG group is leveraging the ‘IoT on every PET bottle’ idea, aimed at disrupting the 59 billion USD industry of trade contracts, financing, and international value exchange. Here’s what it entails:
At the moment the industry of international trade financing is based on implicit trust between the parties and relies on such instruments as letters of credit, handwritten cargo inspection protocols, etc. This obviously hinders the growth and opportunities for trade financing and factoring branches of financial institutions. Our B2B blockchain traceability offering, paired with the end-consumer verification and manufacturer-to-consumer communication, allows for a massively expanded reach and flexibility of the financial products. Effectively bringing many more players onto the trust-less traceability system made possible by mass user participation through the Tael incentivization system.
The end vision of this project would be the complete synchronization and automation of both the flow of goods and funds.
Obviously, given the complexity of the undertaking, there are a lot of details to iron out and systems to set up before the full vision can be realized. We are excited to be at the forefront of a development promising massive disruption in an industry fundamentally unchanged since the days of tea clippers. We will share more of these developments as they occur.
More from Japan
The Tael Ecosystem has seen extensive growth in Japan, with the on-boarding of major high-demand products, our time at the Mitsubishi UFJ Business Accelerator, and our partnership with Rakuten. Further on-going developments in Japan can be found in our recent progress update below:
We will be sharing more developments from Japan in the coming weeks.