TOKYO (PRWEB) April 20, 2020
Fun Group Inc. operating the “Fun” business, an online platform for overseas tours and experiences (formerly Tabinaka Inc., HQ: Shibuya-ku Tokyo, Japan; CEO and President: Kenji Miki, hereafter “Fun Group”) hereby announces that it has closed the first round of Series-B financing and has raised 1.26 billion yen in total from JBC Holdings Inc. (CEO: Tomohiko Watanabe), a wholly-owned investment subsidiary in Japan of China Minsheng Financial Holding Corp., Ltd. listed in Hong Kong Stock Exchange (hereafter “China Minsheng Financial Holding Corp”) and other financial institutions.
Our company has so far raised funding of approximately 740 million yen mainly from individual investors; with the amount raised from our most recent round, our cumulative total has reached approximately 2 billion yen since we started in 2014. where we will continue to discuss its entire closing in the first half of 2020 with domestic and international investors. The funding will be used to support domestic and international sightseeing businesses affected by the recent pandemic, and to allow for the formation of alliances, to increase operational efficiency and in turn forming a “global sightseeing business association”. Our company will also invest in the development of new hardware to achieve Fun Group’s mission statement to “simplify ways to access sightseeing resources worldwide”.
The space which Fun Group occupies in the industry, catering to the various needs that arise during a trip, is in line with the overall shift of demand from specific purchases to local experiences and moments. With travel becoming widely accessible, and governments increasingly taking measures to attract more tourists, this has resulted in the rapid growth of tour operators worldwide. However, with the recent outbreak of COVID-19, the business environment has changed dramatically and there is uncertainty around the future of smaller family owned companies.
Our company established the “Fun” business in October 2017, with our mission statement of “creating ways to access sightseeing resources worldwide”. Our business covers 6 locations with Bangkok, Bali, Cebu, Hawaii, Las Vegas and Taipei. We inject a Japanese quality standard into our tours, starting with our mobility options including premier buses/vans and aim to provide genuine experiences by working together with the locals. Recently, we have been growing our foothold by acquisitions and our travelers now come from over 70 countries - in the past year we have recorded 200% growth in our operations. With the funding raised in our most recent round, we will support domestic and international businesses, with a view to engage in acquisitions and forming alliances to establish a “global sightseeing business association”. We will also use the funding to develop new hardware products that will be used to heighten the quality of our experiences and to also expand our team. Furthermore, leveraging the network and access to market that JBC Holdings Inc. can provide, we will continue to grow by building our Chinese customer base.
Mr. Tomohiko Watanabe, CEO and President of JBC Holdings said, "We aspire to become a bridge between China and Japan under our vision to invest in Japanese companies with superior technologies and capabilities, and support their growth with our strength in Chinese capital, networks and access to the Chinese market. Through our due diligence process, we have studied Fun Group’s business model in detail and are impressed by the quality of its team. We believed there is great potential and room for us to support the company which ultimately led to our investment decision. While the entire world is facing great hardship, there is no night without dawn; we are fully behind the team and support Fun Group in its next stage of growth."
And Kenji Miki, CEO and President of Fun Group said, "I started Fun Group in 2014 due to my strong beliefs that there is nothing more important than experiencing and sharing fun moments in life. As of April 2020, domestic and international businesses in the travel sector are struggling due to the spread of COVID-19. But precisely because we are in this situation, I believe companies in our industry should come together and work to navigate through this period. I hope that beyond this, by utilising new technologies to enhance our experiences, we can once again hear our travelers say how they enjoyed our tours very soon."
Kenji was born in 1990 in Hyogo prefecture of Japan. He started his own business at the age of 19 which he successfully sold. Seeking a new challenge to establish a company on a more global scale, he travelled to Thailand, but unfortunately became the victim of a street robbery and ended up losing all his possessions. He started guiding tours in Thailand to earn some money which led him to establish Rising Asia in January in 2014, that would later become Fun Group. He has previously been selected in Forbes Asia 30 under 30.