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Grooves raises USD$3 Million to Capture ASEAN Hospitality and Tourism Talents to Work in Japan

KUALA LUMPUR, 24 April 2019 – Grooves, the human resources tech (HR Tech) startup today raised a total of USD$3 million from recent investments from JTB Corporation, and All-Japan Tourism National Fund to fill the labour shortage gap in Japan by providing job opportunities to talents within the ASEAN hospitality and tourism industry. Through these investments, Grooves will be focusing on the tourism market in Japan.

Grooves currently has a huge network of over 5,000 Japanese corporations within its platform and strong alliances with Japan’s local banks. With these strategic partnerships in place, Grooves’ users will have access to a wider range of career opportunities as the company has partnered with 18 Japanese banks and Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB). Currently, Grooves is looking to challenge the recruitment and tourism industry by becoming the first HR tech startup in the ASEAN region to extend its services to global hospitality and tourism talents to work in Japan.

“At Grooves, we saw this opportunity to take up the challenge as an HR tech company to connect foreign workers with the Japanese hospitality industry to enhance the level of tourism in Japan. We believe that the linguistic and management skills of these foreign workers will help elevate the tourism experience in Japan” said Mr Yukihiro Ikemi.

Through investments from JTB corporation, the most prominent travel agency in Japan and one of the largest in the world, Grooves aims to facilitate growth in all Japanese provinces such as Osaka, Okinawa, Hiroshima and more.

“We would like to express our gratitude towards JTB and All-Japan Tourism National Fund for their confidence in our company. We are honoured to collaborate with such prominent corporations and strive to create a community where talents can discover the right career through Grooves’ network. We aim to offer opportunities for countries to exchange work culture and skill- sets. Grooves is excited to venture into the tourism and hospitality industry as this initiative will enhance the Japanese economy while providing all talents with valuable experiences” said Mr Yukihiro Ikemi, Chief Executive Officer of Grooves Inc.

As Japan prepares for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and Global Expo 2025, it is looking for foreign hospitality and tourism workers to fill job vacancies to better serve the tourists who will be visiting the Land of the Rising Sun. The Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) estimates that currently, the country hosts over 30 million tourists annually and these numbers are expected to increase with the Tokyo Olympics in July 2020. Therefore, Japan is in need of a huge labour workforce to better prepare themselves for the upcoming events.

“Grooves is not just a one-way bridge for Malaysian talents to penetrate the Japanese job market. The idea here is to have the local talents learn deeper into the Japanese business ecosystem and share the knowledge as well as the experience back to their respective countries.”

Grooves has raised over USD$12mil through multiple venture capital (VC) and has established its services and operations in the country.

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