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Japanese startup ikkai raises funding to connect student freelancers to companies; eyes Malaysia and Indonesia markets

| Biz News, Business Development, Malaysia | 07/28/2017


ikkai_japanese_startup

Japanese startup ikkai raises funding to connect student freelancers to companies; eyes Malaysia and Indonesia markets

Date: July 26, 2017
Source: e27 by Yon Heong Tung

Fukuoka-based student freelancer platform ikkai has raised JPY 20 million (US$180,000) from a group of angel investors.

The startup will use the newly minted financing to expand into the city of Tokyo.

Founded in 2016 by overseas students Yasmine Djoudi and Thomas Pouplin, ikkai’s concept first came into being after the duo discovered there was a lack of communication between companies who needed assistance for short-term projects and student freelancers. Students who needed pocket money often had to rely on word-of-mouth to land these short-term projects or they had to seek more traditional part-time jobs.


ikkai is only targetting Japanese and international student freelancers who have attained at least a high school certificate

The duo were then granted startup visas to launch ikkai in Fukuoka.

“Our mission is to make it simple for students to find jobs that they can squeeze into their busy schedules without having to sacrifice anything. We also want to give individuals and companies a reliable way to tap into this underutilised workforce because students are very motivated to take on these tasks,” said Djoudi.

Unlike most freelancer platforms like Upwork or Fiverr, ikkai caters to only Japanese and international student freelancers as long as they have completed high school. All jobs are paid on a per-project-basis, not on an hourly rate.

To minimise payment schedule conflicts (a perennial problem in the freelancing sector) all clients are required to deposit the money in escrow on the platform before the task is completed.

Once the student says they have completed the task, the client has 48 hours to lodge any complaints about the work done.

When that happens, one of ikkai’s staff will evaluate the student’s work and determine how much of it was satisfactory to the client (if at all).

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