Prize for Beating COVID with Photos
|Prize for Beating COVID with Photos
|Decollte Holdings Corporation
|CAS Capital, Inc.
|Reason for selection
|CAS Capital made an investment about four years ago after being entrusted with the future growth and development of a wedding reception service, a photo studio, and a healthcare business by the founder who started them.
Although CAS Capital endeavored to improve performance by injecting capital and talent to try and crack the problem, when the investment was made, the start of COVID-19 was a surprise that significantly changed society. The fund then clarified a suitable vision and worked hard to improve enterprise value.
CAS Capital withdrew from two of the three original businesses by transferring them to a prominent company, but decided to focus on the photo studio business, which would offer a new service, Photo Wedding, that uses photos as a prospective business for growth and development. This bold business portfolio revamp achieved that growth and development. CAS Capital then developed the photo studio business to cater to a society with a falling birthrate and aging population by handling pets and other life events. To exit, CAS Capital executed a partial sale in January 2021, then applied for a listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The company was listed in June of that year.
Photo Wedding allows newlywed couples, family members, friends, and acquaintances to share the excitement of lost wedding ceremonies that were postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19, as well as the hope and elation of starting a new family. In Japan, where the birthrate is falling and the population decreasing, Photo Wedding has great social signifiance for cheering up whole communities.
Additionally, the addition of outside managerial personnel for business administration based on quantitative analysis and predictions, action to spur motivation toward upskilling and career development, the website's expansion, and enhanced governance remade the company into a fulfilling workplace and made a major contribution to raising enterprise value.
Local photo studios are declining in number. The photo studio business is a place where those wanting to make a living as photographers can thrive. Although the transfer of the business reduced 35 employees in total, between the time of the initial investment and the exit, the deal contributed to expanded hiring that added 120 employees in the photo studio business. The investment deal thus qualifies as promoting ESG and SDG #8 about decent work and economic growth.
As mentioned above, the fund was entrusted by the founder with the future growth and development of the businesses. The fund increased value in various ways, while making society better through Photo Wedding, despite the pandemic. For this, the deal has been awarded the Prize for Beating COVID with Photos.
Click here for the award winner interview.
Oka & Company, Inc.
The University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners Co., Ltd.
Hitotsubashi University Business School