We’re excited to announce that our portfolio company Pocket Concierge has been acquired by American Express. Congratulations to Tokado-san and Koyama-san on finding a great partner to continue building toward their vision.
Pocket Concierge was one of our first investments, so the company has a special place in our hearts. We met this duo when we were just getting started, and bought into their vision to provide a seamless booking experience for high-end restaurants. Many of the best restaurants in Japan were not on OpenTable or similar booking services. They also hesitated to cater to foreigners due to the language barriers and the tendency for “no-shows.” Tokado-san, a former chef, was able to grasp the hearts of these chefs and convince them to go digital. The team was able to bring the best culinary experiences in Japan online and make them accessible in English and Chinese. And their timing was impeccable: inbound tourists to Japan have increased from just under 10 million to over 30 million in the last 5 years.
When we were just getting started, we talked about the opportunity for cross-border M&A in Japan. For foreign companies, acquiring locally is a viable way to unlock value in this country. A lot of people rightfully doubted that possibility, as it is so uncommon. Pocket Concierge not only proved that it is possible, but they also found a home at one of the world’s most well-respected companies.
Congratulations team Pocket Concierge, and thank you for having us on your journey. You will always be a part of our family.