Got a startup with a small team? Here's how to expand to global markets

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Peatix is a global event management and ticketing platform that provides organisers with tools to create, promote, and sell out events. Harada, along with his colleagues he met at Amazon Japan, founded the company in Tokyo in May 2011.

The company launched in Singapore and New York City in 2013, and currently, 30 to 40 per cent of its business comes from outside of Japan. Peatix plans for further expansion to other Asian cities, with its launch in Hong Kong set on May 31 this year.

What were the benchmarks that made your company ready to expand globally?

“Our first expansion initiative into Singapore was somewhat coincidental. With Hong Kong we will be venturing into a third language offering with Chinese, which is also a significant milestone for us.

Did you face pressure from investors regarding growth and market expansion?

“Japan is a very big domestic market and the conventional investor there might suggest that you focus on the Japanese market first and then expand after you become big in Japan.”

Before you enter a new market, what kind of research do you do?

“We’ve done a broad sweep of cities in Asia, Europe, and America, looking at things like population size, social media, […] mobile penetration, [and] payment infrastructure. An important factor we look at is how people consume products online and how they want to pay and receive money.”

What will make you leave a market?

“If organic growth is not happening in a market, we might have to consider a different strategy or completely retreat. The good thing about Peatix is that we have a small, flexible team. We can shift our people quickly to other initiatives or roles.”

 

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