Ambitious and approachable, Chika Tsunoda is the brains behind Anytimes, Japan’s skill-sharing platform. Marrying convenience with expertise, she’s changing Japan’s employment market for the better.
Looking for help with a little last-minute spring cleaning, someone to help you whip up a tasty meal, or even some cheeky tutoring on the fly? Anytimes, Japan’s services marketplace app, has you covered. In a world where everyone has a smartphone in their back pocket, Forbes-featured founder Chika Tsunoda has capitalised on the buzzword of the 21st century: convenience. “Our mission is to empower people’s lives by providing a platform that can adapt to any time, any situation, and any place,” she explains.
Founded in 2013, Anytimes pioneered skill-sharing in Japan, garnering substantial interest from investors. The company closed USD 2.1M in Series B funding in 2015 and has since gone on to partner with numerous companies as well as local governments across Japan. Chika explains that the business is highly scalable, given its proprietary OEM platform that can be adapted to any language.
To use their services, it’s as simple as submitting a request for help on the Anytimes app and waiting for another user with the right skill set to respond. Once you find the right person for the job, all you have to do is accept their application. Payments are held in escrow by the customer support team until after the service is provided.
In a society with growing concerns about gender discrimination in the workplace, the Japanese services marketplace app offers a hassle-free solution for working women to fulfil their responsibilities at home. “With an easy, user-friendly system, working women can outsource household tasks such as cleaning, cooking and childcare and have more free time for themselves,” Chika says.
As things stand, women in Japan remain sidelined by male executives, often working part-time jobs with low wages. The New York Times Magazine reports that Japan’s gender wage gap (25.5%) is “third-worst among developed countries.” The Japanese government, too, has acknowledged the issue, but to little avail. Instead, Chika has taken things into her own hands: “The main inspiration behind Anytimes was my belief that the Japanese work environment needed diversification and flexibility.” She hopes to provide a long-awaited alternative to the traditional Japanese-style work environment – one that restores a healthier, more flexible work-life balance.
With a versatility capable of meeting a diversity of needs, Anytimes has plans to expand internationally, growing its technology-enabled community far beyond Japan’s borders. With the global labour market moving towards flexible work arrangements and remote working, perhaps this Japanese services marketplace app is the professional solution we all need.