ChatWork, a business communication app from Japan with 100,000 users, now eyeing Asia
October 26, 2012 by Terence LEE
ChatWork has plenty of fans in Japan. With 100,000 signups, mostly from the country, and 10,000 added every month, the app has been adopted by companies and organizations like Zoho, Kyoto University, and Kuai Hospital. It also partnered with Japanese telco KDDI to create a variant of its app for large enterprises.
Interestingly, at a recent networking event in Singapore where I talked to ChatWork reps and an employee from another Japanese company, the employee proclaimed that he is a ChatWork user. Small world indeed.
Of course, business communication apps are nothing new. So what makes ChatWork, available in web, iOS, and Android versions, different from Yammer or Asana? Here’s how Shuhei Tanigawa, a marketer for ChatWork, put it: Yammer is a social network while ChatWork isn’t. It is a pure communications tool.
Also, while Yammer is ideal for large-scale organizations seeking to bridge the communications gap both horizontally and vertically, ChatWork is built for small teams and SMEs.
The app shares some features with Asana, such as task setting, mobile support, and file attachments. But Asana doesn’t have a group chat feature, making it sort of like a Whatsapp for work. Both apps do operate on a freemium model, although ChatWork does appear to be more affordable.
The company has been around for more than 10 years, providing IT products and services to SMEs. So far, it has managed to build a sustainable business through bootstrapping. It developed and launched ChatWork in March 2011.
As ChatWork casts its nets into the region, it’s exploring the possibility of setting up an office in Singapore. The company is also working to integrate screen capture functionality to further differentiate itself from other business productivity apps.
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About The Author
Terence LEE - Editor
Terence writes mainly about technology trends and startups in Asia. He believes in crafting smart content: Not just a regurgitation of text, but well thought-out pieces that serve the reader using a combination of data, design, narratives, analysis, and visual impact. His articles have been published on Venturebeat, Yahoo!, Straits Times, Today, and The Online Citizen. He also co-founded NewNation.sg, a satirical news site covering Singapore affairs. Engage him on LinkedIn and Twitter.Read other posts by Terence LEE