The cat’s out of the Box.
Bokksu has officially acquired competitor Japan Crate, and is promising a bright future for subscribers to both brands. The reality is we have yet to see if the grass really is greener on the other side of this deal.
While CEO of Bokksu Danny Taing likely will see “green”, what does this mean for the customers?
Let’s take a close look at the facts and make some predictions on what’s inside this Pandora’s bokksu.
Why did Bokksu decide to purchase Japan Crate? As many subscribers to Japan Crate will tell you, there’s been a lot of shipping and service issues for the company over several years now. Mr. Taing states in an Instagram reel that Bokksu’s delivery infrastructure will help this along. But no company purchases another to fix their problems, there must be something in it for them.
If we follow the money, we see that Bokksu was funded through venture capital, and has had 3 investment rounds since its inception, with the latest being a Series A in 2022. Mr. Taing implies this as an explanation for how they could stay afloat during an economic crisis, while Japan Crate sought a buyer.
An important touchpoint here, is that because Bokksu is a firm built on venture capital, they have investors with high expectations and high stakes, explaining why Mr. Taing himself is often on camera in their socials, he has a lot to lose, while Japan Crate cashed out.
Likely the purchase was intended to narrow down competition in an increasingly specialized market. This makes Bokksu look good to investors not just because they’re bigger, but because while Japan Crate struggled in its core deliveries, they did have strong retail connections with stores like Hot Topic, World Market & FYE.
The reality is, the terms of the deal have not been disclosed to the public, and likely with good reason. Bokksu is looking to seek a series B funding round next year, meaning they need more money to achieve their goal. The question remains what this goal is. Improve the service, please shareholders or cash out on top of a pile of crates.
While promising better delivery and variety, Bokksu have already stated they intend to keep the brands separate.
This, on top of Bokksu already being known for experiencing delivery issues, we can’t help but be concerned that while they duplicate their strengths, they also duplicate their problems.
The ones who will likely be most affected are subscribers to Umai Crate and Inku Crate, providing products Bokksu have very little experience with and have not mentioned once in talks about the acquisition.
If you’re affected by the acquisition and need a new alternative, ZenPop has 7 years of experience with our Snack, Stationery and Ramen boxes.