CrowdFunding In Japan

FAQ: Crowdfunding in Japan


Who do we partner with?

We primarily collaborate with Makuake who is Japan’s largest crowdfunding platform. Since their inception in August 2013, more than 3,000 projects have been funded with over 70 of them exceeding 100 million yen, which is the most on any Japanese crowdfunding platform.

What are the service fees?

We do not charge any service fee to launch your product in Japan. All advertising, design, translation work as well as paying the 20% service fee to Makuake is covered by us. In return we ask for sales exclusivity in Japan and for a discounted price off your product which will allow us to make a margin on future sales. There is also flexibility to use your own capital to increase advertising and market awareness in Japan. 

What information do I need to provide to launch my product?

We will need information about the product, past achievements,  proof of certifications, and capabilities. We also test all products before crowdfunding so please be prepared to ship at least 2 samples to us.



Does EMI Trading buy my product?

Generally speaking EMI Trading does not purchase an MOQ, but rather works with brands to launch their product in Japan. We work with brands who want to leverage our experience and digital marketing expertise in the Japanese market. We also offer smooth communication in English throughout the process and can be contacted at any time. 


Does EMI Trading help with the certification process?

If your product doesn’t involve batteries, or wireless functions (bluetooth, wifi ) ; product certification is not required. EMI Trading, as a company, does not get involved in the certification of the products, and normally these certifications are all applied for by our clients before the product is launched to Japan. Please visit the Japan Quality & Assurance Organization for a good resource about certifications.



Can I crowdfund in Japan if I have already crowdfunded on Kickstarter or Indiegogo?

Yes, absolutely, in fact if you have already crowdfunded before, chances are your crowdfunding in Japan will be very smooth.



Does EMI Trading offer retail placement or store placement?

We have several relationships with offline retailers as well as our own established online stores on all of the biggest e-commerce sites in Japan. We can not guarantee your product to be shown or displayed at a retail store and generally speaking your product must have considerable marketability to be accepted in one of Japan’s retail stores.


How is customer support & after service handled?

EMI Trading handles all customer service in Japanese for products purchased through crowdfunding. We will coordinate with your team to ensure that your brand and brand image remain intact. 


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Step 1 - Product information and due diligence


We will need at least 2 product samples and all the original contents, pictures, videos for translating, editing, redesigning, copywriting work. We will firstly confirm all certifications are in order to ensure the product can be sold legally to the Japanese market. We will also discuss the potential delivery date of your product and start to calculate our advertising budget based on the % discount we receive off the units.

Once everything has been confirmed we will send you an exclusivity contract which is a formality to start a crowdfunding project on Makuake.


Step 2 - Landing page creation and advertising 


Upon receipt of your samples and content; our team gets to work. We will start to develop your story in Japanese and cater your message to the targeted audience in Japan. We will build a landing page for the product and start to drive traffic there via targeted Facebook advertising. We will AB test advertisements in order to finetune the content to get the best conversion rate. Throughout the process we will keep you updated with our progress and provide you samples of our advertising and resulting data.


Step 3 - Project page creation and YouTuber collaboration


As the advertisements are running and pre-campaign registrants are building, we will start to make the main project page. We will have weekly meetings directly with Makuake who will provide invaluable feedback about the status and content of the page and will offer advice on what needs to be added/adjusted to ensure the best results.

We will also start to reach out to influencers, YouTubers etc for collaboration and ask them to review your product.


Step 4 - Campaign launch and press release


The week before the launch we will send out SNS updates to registrants to build excitement and remind them about the launch a day before and also 15 minutes before the project page becomes live on Makuake.

At the same time of the launch we will send out an original press release to attract contact from media outlets and to spread the word about the product launch. If media opportunities arise we will correspond accordingly. 


Step 5 - Delivery to backers and after service support


After a successful campaign, we will coordinate with you and your staff about the delivery of your product to the Makuake backers. Our job does not stop here, we will continue to offer customer support for anyone who has questions or issues about your product. We will honor the product warranty and work with you to find the best solution for any problem that may arise.


Step 6 - Next steps in Japan


After all units have been delivered to backers, we will have an evaluation meeting with you to analyse the results and decide next steps i.e online sales, gift show exhibition.