ITOCHU Announces Launch of Crowdfunding “MOTTAINAI MOTTO”

November 8, 2016

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that ITOCHU, the Mainichi Newspapers Co., Ltd (headquartered in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Maruyama, President & CEO; hereinafter “Mainichi”), the Shinkumi Federation Bank (headquartered in Chuo-ku, Tokyo; Junichi Naito, President and CEO; hereinafter “SFB”) and Music Securities, Inc. (headquartered in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Masami Komatsu, President & CEO; hereinafter “MS”) had agreed on forming a business tie-up and entry into the crowdfunding*1 business. The MOTTAINAI MOTTO (“Mottainai” is an ancient Buddhist term from Japan that means to have respect for the resources around you. “Motto” is a word which stands for “More” in Japan.) service will be launched by early December 2016.

Crowdfunding is a way for project initiators with new ideas and plans to make a wide appeal to potential supporters for financial backing through a website dedicated to their project. In Japan, this service was launched in 2001. In recent years, the market scale has been rapidly expanding with expectations for about 36.3 billion yen (68.1% increase from the previous year) for 2015 and about 47.8 billion yen for 2016*2.

MOTTAINAI MOTTO is a purchase-oriented crowdfunding website intended to encourage more people to learn about and support new ideas and products stemming from local regions and the passion of people who take on new challenges by integrating crowdfunding with the globally shared idea of MOTTAINAI, which was promoted by Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan woman who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, a first for an environmentalist.

ITOCHU, the master licensee of the MOTTAINAI brand, will conduct the operational management of MOTTAINAI MOTTO jointly with MS, a domestic pioneer in the area of crowdfunding. In addition, a credit cooperative that is familiar with enterprises that take on the challenge of regional resources hidden in local communities as a community-oriented type of financial institute that will discover projects through its alliance with SFB, and ITOCHU will provide support for their advertising campaign. Mainichi will run a promotional campaign especially targeting the portion of people who are not yet familiar with crowdfunding by featuring and introducing unique projects though newspaper articles to build a system for facilitating the flow of capital to each region.

Service scheme

Service scheme

Symbol mark, service logo mark

Symbol mark

Service logo mark

The logo mark (a drop of water) of the MOTTAINAI campaign*3 represents people’s passion or a collection of drops of water as individually rich water sources that lead to the success of the project.

  • *1This is a fundraising system for the development of new products and services and also for providing financiers with completed products and services without providing returns in the form of money.
  • *2Source: “A Survey on the Domestic Crowdfunding Market for 2016” by Yano Research Institute Ltd. (released on August 19, 2016)
  • *3MOTTAINAI campaign
    This is a global environmental campaign led by Mainichi and ITOCHU in accordance with the idea of MOTTAINAI, which was promoted by Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan woman who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for the first time in the area of the environment. ITOCHU will carry out this campaign to make MOTTAINAI a globally shared word that simply expresses the 3Rs of environmental activities—Reduce (reduction of waste), Reuse (reuse of waste), and Recycle (recycling waste as resources)—+Respect (a sense of gratitude and respect) and promotes a lifestyle that decreases the burden on the global environment with the aim for the establishment of a recycling-oriented society and the realization of a sustainable society. (MOTTAINAI campaign: )