Japanese, Malaysian HRtech company Grooves raises US$3M in funding
Grooves, a Japanese HRtech company with a presence in Malaysia, announced today it has raised US$3 million in a new financing round from prominent travel agency JTB Corporation and All-Japan Tourism National Fund.
Through investments from JTB corporation, Grooves aims to facilitate growth in all Japanese provinces such as Osaka, Okinawa, Hiroshima and more.
“We aim to offer opportunities for countries to exchange work culture and skillsets. Grooves is excited to venture into the tourism and hospitality industry as this initiative will enhance the Japanese economy while providing all talents with valuable experiences,” said Yukihiro Ikemi, CEO of Grooves.
Founded in 2004, Grooves enhances the recruitment process for candidates, recruiting agencies and companies using Artificial Intelligence and Big Data. The firm claims to have a huge network of over 5,000 Japanese corporations on its platform and alliances with the country’s local banks.
With these strategic partnerships in place, Grooves’s users will have access to a wide range of career opportunities as the company has partnered with 18 Japanese banks and Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB).
Grooves aims to become the first HR tech startup in ASEAN to extend its services to global hospitality and tourism talents to work in Japan.
“At Grooves, we saw this opportunity to take up the challenge as an HRtech company to connect foreign workers with the Japanese hospitality industry to enhance the level of tourism in Japan. We believe that the linguistic and management skills of these foreign workers will help elevate the tourism experience in Japan,” Ikemi added.
As Japan prepares for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and Global Expo 2025, it is looking for foreign hospitality and tourism workers to fill job vacancies to better serve the tourists who will be visiting the Land of the Rising Sun. The Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) estimates that currently the country hosts over 30 million tourists annually and these numbers are expected to increase with the Tokyo Olympics in July 2020. Therefore, Japan is in need of a huge labour workforce to better prepare themselves for the upcoming events.
“Grooves is not just a one-way bridge for Malaysian talents to penetrate the Japanese job market. The idea here is to have the local talents learn deeper into the Japanese business ecosystem and share the knowledge as well as the experience back to their respective countries,” he added.
So far, Grooves has raised over US$12 million from multiple VCs and has established its services and operations in Malaysia.