Mercari Inc, a Japan-based classifieds start-up valued at more than $1B is looking to boost its presence in US by opening an office in Portland, Oregon. The move was prompted by a spike in downloads of its e-commerce app in the US.
Mecari matches individual buyers with sellers looking to offload everything from furniture, clothing and cars. The app was installed more than 20 million times in the U.S. It soared to the top three in download rankings in July after going viral among cosmetics and fashion fans in New York.
“It’s been our mission from the start to create a global marketplace,” said CEO Shintaro Yamada at a TechCrunch event in Tokyo last week.
“The focus is now on the U.S., to the extent that we prioritize it over rolling out service improvements in Japan.”
The app is generating more than 10 billion yen ($90 million) in monthly transactions in Japan, where it has 40 million downloads. Mercari typically takes a 10 percent cut of each sale, a charge it dropped in the U.S. until last month to spur adoption.