Reward-based Crowdfunding in Japan

While still in its relative infancy stages, the Japanese crowdfunding market is gradually extending its reach.

In March 2012, the launch of crowdfunding platform Readyfor triggered the spread of crowdfunding in Japan. Over 50 Japanese-language crowdfunding platforms have been created since then, according to a report by JSIF.

There are three types of reward-based crowdfunding in Japan: donation, purchase, and investment. Each type is based on what sort of support one will receive for their campaign contributions. Let’s take a quick look at these three types.



Currently there are over 15 donation-type crowdfunding sites in Japan. Japan has community foundations located throughout the country. Many suggest these foundations fold into crowdfunding sites to improve efficiency.



Purchase-type crowdfunding is the most common type of reward-based crowdfunding in Japan. The majority of these concentrate on areas such as athletics, animation, crafts, and so on.

The possibilities allowed by this type of crowdfunding was fundamentally changed in August 2013. Online entertainment developer Cyberagent blasted into the crowdfunding market, showing a new way to fund individual projects within a larger organization. A shakeout phase is expected because of this.



This type of reward-based crowdfunding can be further broken down into three categories: equity, loan, and association.

Due to strict regulations there are currently no options for equity-based crowdfunding, though this may change in time.

At the moment, only four loan-type platforms exist.

Association type, is the most common of the three, and looks to grow as experts argue that all micro-investment funds should fall under the label of association-type crowdfunding.




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