This Japanese man built a billion-dollar company to fulfil his mother’s wish

Yuta Tsuruoka, who was an intern at a crowdfunding startup, founded his own company, Base Inc., in 2012. Base Inc. is now valued at $1.7 billion

A simple passing comment made by Yuta Tsuruoka’s mother completely changed his life and eventually led to his billion-dollar company – Base Inc. Years ago, Tsuruoka’s mother, who ran a small store in rural Japan, had said that she wanted to set up her own online store but she didn’t know how to go about it. Tsuruoka, an intern in a crowdfunding start-up at that time, saw a business opportunity in his mother’s comments.   

“That was the start of it all,” said Tsuruoka, according to Bloomberg. “We were in a world where people with no internet skills and no money, like my mom, couldn’t imagine creating online businesses,” he added. Tsuruoka, who was studying information technology in college, then decided to develop a software which will help individuals and small business create online shops. He eventually founded his own company – Base Inc. in 2012.

Tsuruoka has claimed that he was fascinated by other companies such as PayPal Holdings. He also said that he started the company just as a hobby.

Base Inc. provides various services like helping people set up online shops. This includes setting up payment gateways. They also provide multiple options to retailers for procuring financing against their future sales. The shopping app of Base Inc. has about 7 million users. More than 1.2 million shops are registered on Base Inc.

Base Inc. went public last year and within this short amount of time has been able to substantially increase its market value as many retailers rushed to take their businesses online in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This boost has led the company to be valued at $1.7 billion, even though its share value dropped in October. Some analysts have even questioned its sustainability, according to Bloomberg. Tsuruoka owns a 15 per cent stake in the company which is worth around $265 million.

Unikorn Staff
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