Supports for Foreign Companies
CASE 17 Autonomous Technology Service Provider Specializing in Vehicle Solutions
Supporting Business Matching of French Startup Expanding to Japan
EasyMile is a global technology company specializing in self-driving technology that was founded in 2014. It currently specializes in fixed-route unmanned mobility services of low speed vehicles for material handling as well as passenger transport. It also develops its technology to be realized in a range of other vehicle products and services.
EasyMile’s main businesses are: (1) Developing autonomous technology that accommodates indoor and outdoor roads (fixed routes); (2) Integrating commercialized vehicles that accommodates clients’ needs for self-driving technology, tailored to the various cases it will be used; (3) Developing methodologies and processes to safely and efficiently operate driverless vehicles completed using the company’s technology.
As technological development and demonstration tests of unmanned autonomous driving of automobiles are rapidly advancing on a global scale, EasyMile has been drawing attention for its cutting-edge software development of fixed route driverless technology. The scale of its live deployments around the world has been delivering notable results.
Support by Business Concierge Tokyo (BDCT)
- Introducing cooperative companies
- Exhibiting at exhibitions
- Participating in various events
Reasons for Choosing Tokyo
Japan is, of course, a globally renowned, advanced automobile country. It is an attractive market for EasyMile, making it necessary to expand to Japan. Tokyo, the capital, is the center of business in Japan with many companies, including large corporations. There is a high interest in the latest technology, and many companies are interested in driverless technology. This is why I believed Tokyo would offer many opportunities to meet people from companies we could collaborate with. I wanted to turn these encounters into business opportunities.
There are actually several projects that are progressing after having many opportunities for business matching through the support of BDCT.
Review of Using Business Concierge Tokyo
EasyMile had decided to expand to Tokyo, responding to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's initiative to attract foreign startups. We decided to ask for BDCT’s help when we were expanding our businesses to Japan, hearing they would offer various business matching support. The decision was made in October 2019.
Receiving the support of BDCT, we soon could exhibit in the Tokyo International Industry Exhibition, hosted by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in the following month in November. We could interact with many Japanese companies, including the visitors and participating companies. Since then, BDCT has mediated between EasyMile and Japanese companies, inviting us to various business exchange events and setting up individual exchange meetings with companies.
The first thing I found about the business matching support of BDCT, was that companies would attentively listen to us, whenever BDCT served as a mediator. Although we are a foreign startup, it seemed that our credibility increased when BDCT was serving as a mediator between other companies and us.
They can accurately understand our intentions and can even consider things we have not noticed and arrange practical business matchings. They also do not simply introduce us companies but offer thorough follow-ups. We have been helped in significant ways for the staff’s broad perspective and care that comes from their experiences.
There is a unique way of doing business in Japan that may be difficult for staff from foreign companies to understand. For example, it is quite challenging to figure out to whom and how we should talk to in order to be effective. BDCT can also offer advice on these problems.
We were able to meet many Japanese companies through the support of BDCT that led to various prospect businesses. BDCT is truly a wonderful partner to expand to Japan.
Future Business Development
Through the success of BDCT’s business matching support, several projects are progressing, including the small driverless automobiles that have started to be sold, and other projects that are currently undergoing demonstration tests. Such success in such a short period would not have been possible without the support of BDCT.
Although our Japan base is at an office at the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan, we plan to soon launch a Japanese subsidiary in Tokyo and fully expand to Japan.