Japan: Enechange raises $4.4m from Opt Ventures & IMJ

Sunset at a Nagao shrine in Japan. Pixabay

Tokyo-based energy price comparison service Enechange has closed a funding round estimated at 500 million yen ($4.4 million) from Opt Ventures and IMJ Investment Partners.

This round follows a 400 million yen ($3.5 million) investment from Energy & Environment Investment and TSE-listed Hitachi in February 2016. With this, the aggregate funding raised by the firm has touched $7.9 million.

Following its deregulation in April 2016, the Japanese electricity industry has seen the entry of corporates like Softbank and Rakuten establishing subsidiaries to tap this market.

Launched in April 2015, Enechange offers a power supplier switch service for enterprises and SIM card comparison site for companies and consumers. It has also partnered with UK-based SMAP Energy to offer consulting services for electric companies in Japan.

Previously, Japan’s market for electricity retail to small-scale users was dominated by 10 major power companies that monopolised their respective regions. The deregulation has led to more than 300 new entrants to the power retail market from various non-electricity sectors, including companies like SoftBank and Tokyo Gas.

With most customers of the new suppliers concentrated in the greater Tokyo area and the Kansai region, this limited number of market entrants may serve to limit the growth prospect of Enechange.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.