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TalentEx is a developer of SaaS platforms for HR and recruitment in Southeast Asia. Its products include Happy HR, an all-in-one HR software for managing HR-related duties; WakuWaku, a Japanese speaker recruitment platform in Thailand; and JobTalents, a free-to-post job board for engineers.

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TalentEx offers online course for Russian developers to work with Japanese IT firms

Aug 20, 2020

17 Media Japan , the local operating company of mobile livestreaming app 17 Live or ‘Ichinana’ also known as Livit in the English-speaking countries, announced today that Hirofumi Ono was appointed as Global CEO of its parent company M17 Entertainment Limited (M17). Focused on the Japanese market, M17 will be continually responsible for service operations in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, India, and other Asian countries. Former M17 CEO Joesph Phua will step down as CEO to become a non-executive chairman. Ono will also continue to serve 17 Media japan as its president. The Japanese operations of the livestreaming app was launched back in 2017 by Ono who has been backing M17 as one of investors – Co-founder & Managing Partner of Infinity Venture Partners . The app now has become an outstanding platform where singers and entertainers perform their live shows. It has acquired 45 million registrants as of November of 2019. Along with this, Ono announced that he will be stepping down from his role as managing director at Infinity Ventures in September. He was involved in launching the VC firm back in 2008 together with Akio Tanaka and Masashi Kobayashi. See also: In addition to investing in ventures in Japan and the Greater China region, Ono has contributed to the growth of startups with his unique style of entrepreneurial involvement as a founding member of them. The startups he was involved in managing include Rekoo Japan (the company behind Sunshine Ranch), (Japanese classifieds site), Groupon Japan, Farfetch Japan , and of course 17 Media Japan. He has also made a significant impact on the startup ecosystem as an investor, hosting Infinity Ventures Summit (IVS) , one of the largest venture conferences in Japan, for 12 years. Below is his open letter on his Facebook timeline. (sic) It is my pleasure to announce that I will be graduating from Infinity Ventures(IV), which I have led with Akio since 2008, this September. And I will be taking on the role of Global CEO at M17 Entertainment, Ltd(M17). that is portfolio company of IV and is the parent company of 17 Media Japan where I have been acting as CEO over 3 years. After launching 17 Media Japan from zero and leading its growth to No. 1 in Japan, there was a strong request from Joseph Phua, Co-Founder of M17 Global and Chairman, for me to take over the global CEO position, and after discussions with Akio and Joseph Huang internally in IV. I decided that the best way for me is to graduate from IV and commit to M17 as CEO so that I can contribute to those who helped me a lot during my time in IV by leading M17 to further growth stage. In the 12 years since launching IV from scratch, I have had the great opportunity to not only invest but also run many companies on my own like Rekoo Japan (Sunshine Farm), Groupon Japan, Jimoty, Farfetch Japan, and 17 Media Japan. And fortunately most of them made great success to be leading companies in that industries and brought successful exit. I am particularly pleased that Jimoty that I had built literally from scratch completely on my own went public this year. I have also been able to get involved in some of the big exits for IVP’s fund, such as Soracom, freee and some of great investment like Wealth Navi and YeahKa (listed in HK and worth over 3billion USD now). M17 is now expanding widely in Japan, Taiwan, India, HK, the US and the Middle East, and I will continue to grow the company so that we can expand our live streaming business even further around the world. I am looking forward to a longer relationship with you as a serial entrepreneur. As for IV, IVS President Toshiaki Shimakawa has successfully hosted more than 1,000 guests in the first online IVS, and the IV Japan team will continue to strengthen its operations with keeping investing in Japan and leading IVS. Also, I will continue to contribute to IVS LaunchPad as an advisor to the development of our startups. Sorry for that long message. I would like to have opportunity to say hello to you individually if I could. Thanks Tokyo-based Styler , the Japanese startup offering an O2O (offline to online) support service for fashion and apparel stores called Facy , announced in late July that it has partnered with Tencent Cloud , the cloud service division of Chinese tech giant Tencent. Styler hadbeen running the Facy app as a way to drive potential customers fromonline to offline fashion retailers. However, the company recognizedthat the expanding pandemic will significantly influence consumerpurchasing behavior and decided to evolve the business into supportingOnline merges with Offline (OMO) effort where retailers can seemlyintegrate user experience at their e-commerce site and brick-and-mortarstores. Pandemic accelerates fashion retailers’ shift to digital operations While fashion e-commerce represents a large proportion of the overalle-commerce market (around 20% of the total in terms of market size), itis yet difficult to completely take over all real store sales. Similarto what tech conferences and events are challenging amid the pandemic,one of the problems here is how to give consumers serendipity on onlineshopping. Unlike giving users recommendations using a collaborative filtering-based engine, it may be difficult for online platforms to give users a chance meeting with the brands they have never met before while sales associates at real stores can do it. Image credit: Alibaba InChina in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic, we saw many sales associates at fashion stores setting up lights and tripods to to introduce and selltheir products via live video streaming. For fashion brands, it would be difficult to integrate a typical live commerce app with their owncustomer-facing app while Tencent Cloud’s solutions apparently makes iteasier. Tencent Cloud’s solutions allow stores and customers tointeract with each other while seeing each other’s faces throughmobiles. The same technology has been adopted to Telelive, CyberAgentsubsidiary Cyber Pal’s platform for holding fan meetings online, as well as Ignis’s dating service’s video call app. Styler plans to introduce Tencent Cloud’s solutions to fashion brands, aiming to help them better implement the OMO into their environment. These solutions allow brands not only offer seamlessly their front-end customer experience online and offline but also to support back-end operations such as integrated inventory management of online and offline sales as well as optimized inventory operations across multiple real stores. Image credit: Tencent Cloud In the ever-changing fashion industry, fashion stores often come and go at shopping malls thanks to thegrowing prominence of direct-to-consumer(D2C) brands. Tencent Cloud’ssolutions allow shopping malls to keep their store directory signageupdated at all times simply by importing CAD data indicating tenantlocations within the mall building. To ensure the practicality of thesolution, Styler plans to conduct Proof of Concept trials with TokyuLand Corporation (TSE:3289) which is known for operating a number ofshopping malls in Tokyo. More D2C brands focusing on online sales are expected to enter the market in the future. In view of having a lot of ups and downs, their real stores’ character don’t fit a typical long-term lease contract for shopping malls. Even in such a tough environment, keeping offering retention opportunities at real stores to brands is a big challenge for shopping malls. Styler CEO Tsubasa Koseki explained in a recent interview with Bridge. Leveraging Tencent Cloud’s solution, Styler is being focused on helping brandsmake their communication and inventory management available in a digital manner. As there is no significant player in Japan with knowledge that straddles betweenonline and offline sales, I think Styler can take an overwhelming leadin this area. Facy wants to be lifestyle-focused super app Image credit: Styler In addition to offering the OMO solutions to fashion brands, Styler is working on upgrading their own flagship Facy app so that brands can easily catch up with the OMO trend. The completely newer version is expected to be out this fall. We are currently benchmarking super apps like Southeast Asia’s Grab (turned from a ride-hailing app), China’s Meituan (previously known as a restaurant discovery/group buying site), and Columbia-born Rapii Koseki continued: Unlike these apps targeted at commodity consumers, Facy wants to be a lifesytle-focused OMO app serving those looking at mid-range priced products. We’re moving forward under the strategy symbolized by two keywords: New Retail and Luxury. Going forward, we’ll be also expanding into other categories like cosmetics and furniture. In Japan, I think that tech giants likeLine and Rakuten as well as other payments apps are probably trying tobe a super app, but they have yet less variety in service offerings like what Grab, Meituan, and Rappi are doing. Hence, the Facy app has the potentialto dominate this market in Japan if they can succeed in expanding their serviceofferings. Related news Tokyo-based Photosynth, the Japanese startup developing and offering smart lock Akerun as well as cloud-based room-entry access control system, unveiled the Akerun Access Intelligence, an access authentication platform to realize a keyless society, as well as a new service called the Akerun visitor management system . The companyalso plans to conduct a Proof of Concept trial with Japanese leadingreal estate developer Mitsui Fudosan (TSE:8801). Meanwhile, thecompany announced that it has secured funding in the latest round led by The Norinchukin Bank with participation from NTT Docomo Ventures,31Ventures, Line Ventures, Toppan Printing, BSP Group, Scrum Ventures,Joyo Sangyo Kenkyujo, Globis Capital Partners, and others. Inthis round, The company obtained 3.5 billion yen (about $33 million) inequity funding as well as loans from Shinsei Bank, Japan FinanceCorporation, Mizuho Bank, Joyo Bank, and others. This brought thecompany’s funding sum up to 5 billion yen (about $47.3 million). Along with this, Tatsuya Otsubo of The Norinchukin Bank is appointed as anouside director for Photosynth. The company will use the funds topromote research and development of the authentication platform as wellas strengthening customer support and sales. The Akerun serviceimproves convenience and security of keyless entry leveraging acloud-based connected smart lock system. The Akerun room-entry accesscontrol system for business has been installed to 4,500 companies todate. Akerun Access Intelligence is a new concept to put all the keys used in our daily lives into the cloud. In this scheme, users can associate their unique identity used in real life, such as NFC transit card, smartphone, employee ID and entrance pass with their digital entity such as e-mail address and phone number, and then register all them in to the cloud. This allows users to gain access to various spaces such as their office, building and home with just a single ID. Image credit: Photosynth In addition, the company announced the Akerun Visitor Management System, a cloud-based management platform to develop this concept in concreteterms. Large office buildings had often set up security gates andreception areas for access restrictions where visitors are usually asked to present their ID as well as fill in their name and the name of the company they are visiting in the form. However, this procedure wastime-consuming for visitors, the forms collected by the receptionistneeded to be re-input to manage digitally, and visual check of ID is not so much reliable. To solve these problems, Photosynth developed the Akerun Visitor Management System, which can be installed into existing security gates so that guests can get entry approval using their NFC transit card. Combined with the Akerun room-entry access control system, the Visitor Management system allows not only visitors but also employees gain access to the locations that every user ID / key set approves. Photosynth will conduct a proof-of-concept trial using these systems with Mitsui Fudosan at the latter’s new office in Nihombashi, Tokyo. Mitsui Fudosan has been using the Akerun for some time now, which led to this collaboration. Tokyo-based Hey, the Japanese tech firm behind payments startup and e-shop builder , announced today that it has secured series E round funding. Participating investors in this round are Bain Capital, Hong Kong-based Anatole, Goldman Saches, PayPal, YJ Capital (investment arm of Yahoo Japan) as well as World Innovation Lab (WiL). Hey has not disclosed the size of the entire round but their statement reveals Bain Capital alone will invest 7 billion yen (about $66 million) in this deal. Hey will use the funds to double its team from 200 to 400 staffers. Along with the funds, the company will acquire a full stake in Coubic , a Japanese startup behind scheduling and appointment booking solution under the same name. Coubic has recently integrated with “Reserve with Google”, which now allows consumers to make bookings or purchase tickets through Google Search and Maps from the local businesses using Coubic. Coubic has also recently integrated with Zoom in aim to help retailers offer online counseling or other learning services under the COVID-19 pandemic. Founded in October 2013 by ex-Googler Hiroshi Kuraoka, Coubic has now 2.5 million monthly active users and is serving more than 80,000 companies and individuals across over 180 business categories. Here’s what Hey CEO Yusuke Sato says in an official statement: I’ll never forget the words of a customer I got the other day. That’s from President Suzuki of Hamanoyu, who use our Stores platform to sell his traditional inn’s flagship menu of red bream fish boiled with soy sauce. He said in his letter to us: “The kitchen, which had been bereft of guests, has been revitalized by orders online from from all over the country. Our staffs were encouraged by the fact that there were customers who wanted to stay with us, and we felt anew that we had to take a stand for the customers who wanted to come back someday.” We were reminded that what we can do is small in the face of a major disaster, but nevertheless, we could be a source of hope and vitality for those who are in such a difficult situation. Through this funding and the acquisition (of Coubic), we will further accelerate the rollout of features for individuals and small and medium-sized businesses in response to the new normal, such as early withdrawal of sales proceeds, support for opening an online store, and simplified online lesson booking through integration with the Zoom video conferencing service, which we have released to address the challenges associated with the pandemic and business restraint measures. Together with Hey team and our new colleagues from Coubic, we will contribute to creating a society supported by an economy driven by persistence, passion and fun, rather than just pursuing profit and scale. See also:

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