How a avenue man grew to become the top of a billion-dollar firm

Taihei Kobayashi has gone from sleeping on the streets of Tokyo to working a expertise startup whose market worth has exceeded one billion {dollars}.

His story is among the most exceptional that got here out of a small-cap enterprise in Japan. Kobayashi, which helps startups and different corporations design and create new companies and merchandise, went public in July. Its shares have tripled since then, reaching over $ 1 billion, in accordance with Bloomberg.

It’s a consequence that few may have imagined twenty years in the past. In response to Kobayashi, his mother and father fired him on the age of 17 when he dropped out of a prestigious highschool to concentrate on his band. He sang music in the course of the day and slept principally outdoor, utilizing cardboard packing containers to heat himself on chilly winter nights. He was homeless for a 12 months and a half.

Finally, he obtained a job as a software program engineer. He was one of many key members within the founding of the predecessor of the corporate now often called Solar * Inc., pronounced Solar Asterisk, in Vietnam in 2012. He’s now the CEO of Solar *.

“Winters have been chilly on the road,” says Kobayashi, 37, of his expertise on the road. “There have been instances when issues appeared like hell. However we now have overcome these instances. “

In response to Kobayashi, his mother and father didn’t settle for his choice to drop out of highschool. They made monetary efforts to allow him to acquire a college schooling, he stated. And his makes an attempt to contact his mother and father have been unsuccessful.

“They advised me to depart, so I left and that was it,” he stated. “I wished to reside my life doing what I really like!”

Yushi Fukagawa, a detailed pal of Kobayashi’s college who presently works at Solar *, remembers the second when the entrepreneur grew to become homeless. On the age of 19, a supervisor of a reside music membership took pity on Kobayashi, providing him a job and saying that he may take shelter on the membership. He did it for about six years.

Lastly, Kobayashi determined it was time to maneuver on. To begin with, he earned some cash by buying and selling music data on-line. Then he got here throughout a job supply that didn’t require {qualifications} or expertise. All he needed to do was take a check, he says.

The six-hour examination examined candidates in areas together with math abilities, logical considering and IQ. Koyabashi handed the checks and began working for the corporate, which skilled him to turn out to be a software program engineer.

That is how he met Makoto Hirai, one of many founders of Solar *. The 2 agreed that there are a lot of software program engineers who’ve excelled in programming, however few who may use these abilities to provide you with practical enterprise fashions. They determined to arrange an organization to cowl the hole.

How the CEO of a $ 1 billion expertise startup arrived

Kobayashi moved to Vietnam in 2012 to rent employees from the group of younger engineers within the nation. In March 2013, the founding members based Framgia Inc. in Japan, which modified its title to Solar * in 2019. The concept was to ship engineers to assist Japanese startups struggling to construct a viable enterprise. “Our place was to decide to rising these startups,” Kobayashi stated.

Over time, Solar * has grown its enterprise and now has over 70 clients. The corporate is listed on the Tokyo Inventory Trade’s Moms marketplace for start-ups in July. Its shares rose almost sixfold by September, reaching a market worth of greater than $ 1 billion, or $ 1.4 billion.

“We need to be aggressive in offering our companies to giant firms,” he stated. “That is why I went public”

Mitsushige Akino, CEO of Ichiyoshi Asset Administration Co., stated there’s good demand for the corporate’s companies, however gross sales and revenue are nonetheless low. “Issues may very well be tough,” Akino stated. “It ought to be famous if the corporate is ready to maintain its progress price. That is very true for his revenue, which isn’t too excessive now.

Kobayashi, who returned to Japan from Vietnam in 2019, stated the corporate is gaining enterprise from bigger corporations, together with these within the blue-chip Nikkei 225 Inventory Common. Its clients embrace SoftBank Corp., Masayoshi Son, in accordance with the Solar web site *.

Kobayashi stated he was conscious of the dangers, however was not discouraged by them. He stated he has confronted many harder challenges prior to now. Since then, he has reconnected together with his mother and father, and time on the road is a distant reminiscence. “What I need to do now could be proceed to work to realize our firm’s imaginative and prescient,” he stated.


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