Zuora Ignites Subscription Economy In Japan

By Gabe Weisert September 28, 2015

Today we announced another vital step in Zuora’s international expansion designed to ignite the emerging Subscription Economy in Japan. The new Zuora office in Japan will be led by Country ManagerJunichiro Kuwano, a veteran of Kyriba and Oracle. Eiji Uda, a Special Advisor to Salesforce.com and a member of the advisory board of DocuSign, will also join the Zuora team as an executive advisor for the Japan team. Zuora also announced today that Mitsui Knowledge Industry (MKI), a Mitsui Group Company, has become Zuora’s first customer in Japan.

More than 20 percent of Zuora’s business now comes from outside the U.S., and Japan, which accounts for 6.8 percent of global GDP and has 225 Forbes Global 2000 companies, represents a significant opportunity for Zuora to help businesses take optimal advantage of the shift towards recurring revenue models.

The Internet of Things (IoT) market, a vertical that historically has benefited from the subscription business model, is exploding in Japan as companies such as Fujitsu, Toshiba, NEC, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, and Sony are all launching initiatives. IDC Japan puts the 2014 IoT market at USD $78 billion and expects it to top USD $136 billion by 2019.

In addition, with deregulation coming to the Japan electric power industry in 2016, many companies are looking to become distributors and will need a platform to run their subscription businesses. According to IDC Japan, the Cloud Service Market is also expected to grow from USD $3 billion in 2014 to nearly USD $10 billion by 2019.

The subscription model is gaining strength in Japan’s entertainment market. Several domestic music producers have launched subscription-based services this year, and Apple recently launched Apple Music in Japan. Netflix is also launching in the Japan market in the fall.

“Consumers in Japan are following the same trends as those in the U.S., Europe and Australia,” said Zuora CEO Tien Tzuo. “Subscription services offer a more personalized experience based on a trusted, ongoing relationship, providing consumers with more of what they truly want. Businesses like Amazon, Bonobos and Netflix understand this and are thriving, but most companies don’t have the culture or operational infrastructure to establish and nurture subscriber relationships and scale a subscription service. Zuora offers forward-thinking companies in Japan the opportunity to establish themselves as leaders of the Subscription Economy.”

“I am extremely honored to spearhead the launch of Zuora in Japan,” said Mr. Kuwano. “We are at the beginning of a monumental shift in the way Japanese businesses will deliver their products and services to the Japanese people, and companies that want to be successful at creating lasting relationships with their subscribers will likely have only one chance to get it right. Otherwise, their subscribers will go to the competition. Zuora is the most complete and mature solution for delivering products and services on a subscription basis.”