A message to potential shareholders from Mercari founder Shintaro Yamada.

Founder’s Letter Founder’s Letter

A Message from Mercari Founder Shintaro Yamada

I am a big fan of the pitcher Hideo Nomo, one of the pioneering Japanese players in Major League Baseball. Nomo faced harsh public criticism after announcing his intent to join the Majors, as the media and former players insisted he was overestimating his own abilities and claimed he would be back in no time. Nomo went on to prove all his skeptics wrong, however, becoming both Rookie of the Year and strikeout leader. It’s said that Nomo’s approach to baseball was to simply focus on “making a good pitch,” and nothing else. It might sound simple, but by focusing on the task at hand and perfecting his technique, Nomo was able to achieve spectacular results.

Like Nomo, we are also eager to challenge ourselves on the world stage, and this fact is reflected in our company mission statement to: “Create value in a global marketplace where anyone can buy & sell.” We have several values that guide us here at Mercari, but the one I feel best represents who we are is “Go Bold.” At Mercari, we pride ourselves on achieving extraordinary results through unconventional methods, and since our company was founded, we have consistently invested in human resources and new technology in order to improve our products. This approach will remain unchanged even after we become a publicly-listed company, because we are not afraid of failure–we know that learning from our mistakes will only help us to grow as an organization. With our public listing, we are entering into a new stage in the development of our company, but as we aim to provide high quality products and services for our users, “Go Bold” will remain a central pillar of our spirit and vision.

In this era, people are more connected than ever before, and value is constantly being born with each new connection that is made between individuals. Mercari stands at the center of this expanding ecosystem, promoting a new lifestyle based on the simple concept of circulating existing value between people and communities. For this reason, we are focused on medium-to-long-term growth rather than short-term profits, and we will be investing primarily in the following three areas.

1. People
When it comes to human resources, Mercari does not pinch pennies. Our team boasts top-class engineering talent and is composed of highly-skilled professionals from a variety of different backgrounds. After our public listing, we plan to continue investing in the quality and depth of our organization, bringing in the best talent from both Japan and abroad in order to create an engine for sustained growth. Our vision is to create an organization uniquely capable of continuous innovation on a global scale.

2. Technology
As markets become increasingly competitive, having a great idea alone is no longer a guarantee of success. Those products that are not able to differentiate themselves technologically from their competitors will fall behind and eventually fade away. Mercari plans to invest actively and sustainably in such technologies as AI, Blockchain, VR/AR, quantum computing, and IoT to ensure that we can remain competitive in the years to come. Some of the ambitious goals we have already set for ourselves in this area include: increasing sell-through rates through use of machine learning, automating our extensive customer support services, and facilitating international transactions through the use of natural language translation technology.

3. Overseas Growth
The overseas market for online auction services alone is over 10 times larger than that of Japan, and we’re hoping to reach as many people as possible in our quest to create a society where value circulates more fluidly among individuals. In the case of the U.S. in particular, where users come from a variety of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, we feel that a product must possess a sort of universal appeal if it hopes to succeed. Utilizing our existing position in the U.S. as a foothold, we will develop an ever more simple, enjoyable, and convenient product for our users all across the globe.

In the same way that Hideo Nomo won hearts around the world through his singular determination to “make a good pitch,” we plan to inspire trust and create new value for our users by focusing wholeheartedly on the simple goal of “making a good product.” We are eager to fully embrace our new role as a public institution and we will work without rest to enhance our corporate value in the mid-to-long term. It is my sincere hope that we can count on your support in this journey.

Never be afraid of failure–Go Bold.

Shintaro Yamada
Mercari, Inc. CEO