Before founding Mercari, I took a trip around the world and felt that due to our planet’s limited resources, it would be difficult to create a world where people in developing countries could enjoy the same standard of living as those in developed nations. But when I returned to Japan and saw the rapid growth in popularity of smartphones, I started to wonder if technology could play a role in circulating the planet’s limited resources. By leveraging technology, could we help people all over the world thrive and expand what is possible? That simple concept led me and the other founding members to a small corner of a shared office, where Mercari was born.
Mercari has come a long way since then. On our first day, the Mercari marketplace app was downloaded by just a few hundred people. Now, ten years later, I am proud to say that our marketplace app is used by more than 25 million people across Japan and the US every month. We’ve created a seamless way for people to buy and sell items no longer being used, so those items can find a new home with someone else and be useful once again.
In addition to Mercari’s marketplace business in Japan and the US, we’ve taken on many new challenges in line with our value of “Go Bold" such as Merpay (our finance business), Mercari Shops (our platform that allows anyone to open up an online shop as a business), various overseas investments, and more. I’m truly grateful to everyone who has helped make Mercari what it is today—our users, our investors and shareholders, our business partners, and all members of the Mercari team who have joined us from all over the world.
Why establish a new Group mission?
These past ten years have not been entirely full of successes. We experienced countless failures and mistakes, too. We also started thinking about our long-term role as a company. For example: We may have a large user base, but are we fulfilling our responsibilities to society? What can we do to make Mercari a service that has a positive impact on people? How can we further contribute to the circular economy?
After more than a year of broad discussions, we decided to establish a new Mercari Group mission.
Circulate all forms of value to unleash the potential in all people
Our new Group mission is meant to go beyond Mercari’s founding mission of “Create value in a global marketplace where anyone can buy & sell,” which encapsulated “what” we do. Mercari’s new mission goes beyond “what” we’re doing and focuses on “why” we’re doing it—to contribute to society in a meaningful way.
Mercari’s vision for the future
With the goal of moving towards a more sustainable future, it’s now more important than ever for us to find new solutions to current issues resulting from mass production, mass consumption, and mass disposal. The reality is that while some of us enjoy easy access to the earth’s finite resources, many people all over the world still struggle to live comfortable lives.
But with the advent of new technology like blockchain and the metaverse, we’re beginning to see the signs of new possibilities—a future where anyone, no matter where they live, will have the power to buy and sell intangible things like time, services, and digital content.
At Mercari, we believe that the value of many things (both tangible and intangible) are yet to be discovered. We also believe that people need the right tools and resources in order to reach their full potential. That’s why we’ve set out to “unleash” the potential in all people by using technology to create an ecosystem that circulates all forms of value.
Today, as I reflect on the past 10 years, I’m proud of the company we’ve built and our many achievements. At the same time, I realize that there are still many opportunities for us to make an even greater impact to society on a global scale.
Our mission over the next decade is bold, yet simple. We want to create a world where anyone, regardless of their background, can realize their dreams, contribute to society and their communities, and thrive.
With that goal in mind, today, we start day one of our new journey to achieve Mercari’s Group mission: Circulate all forms of value to unleash the potential in all people.
Never be afraid of failure: Go Bold.
February 1, 2023
Shintaro Yamada, Representative Director, Chief Executive Officer