From stealth to star in 1 year

Since coming out of stealth mode in late 2015, Tokyo-based IoT startup Soracom has propelled itself from obscurity to achieve star status in Japan, launched itself in the US and has become a 4YFN 2017 Gold Partner.

It’s a remarkable startup success story, and we met with Soracom to find out more about their monumental expansion and goals for the future. Here is what they had to share with us…


“We launched publicly in September 2015, just over a year ago. Rapid growth in both the customer base and the partner ecosystem helped us to attract support, and we raised approximately 37 million USD by May 2016, with nearly 5,000 customers in Japan and over 250 partners worldwide.

So what sets you apart from other companies?

Soracom is guided by a set of fundamental principles that help us maintain our focus on delivering value to our customers and continuously improving as a team. Documenting core values is not so unusual, but living by them is again, something else. As individuals and as a team, we use our principles as a tool to measure our plans and our actions and minimise politics and bureaucracy. It might sound trite or even cult-like, but the truth is we all operate in a world of limited time and resources and foregrounding our principles offers a remarkably effective way to maintain focus on serving the customer. For more information visit Soracom Leadership Principles.

Some of our key principles are:

  1.      Listen to the customer‘s voice, understand their real needs and reflect them in our service. We are proactive, not reactive. We focus on what creates value for customers and their requirements matter more than competitor’s movements.
  2.      Believe that the future will be transformed into a better world with the power of the team and yourself. Do not blame other people, have ownership, think about what you can do now and act.
  3.      See the big picture. Imagine opportunities beyond the context of existing constraints and organisations, think outside the box, solve bigger problems and innovate. Strive for a broader perspective based on your knowledge of surroundings, anticipate the future and prepare for it.
  4.      Share information throughout the team, double the joy and halve the sorrow. Be transparent in communication throughout the team and never allow a silo mentality.
  5.      Be persistent and never give up. Continually and persistently strive to achieve the goal, reach out for help when required and make it happen.

Apart from our principles, our original G2M was very carefully orchestrated. We began developing our products and services well in advance of the service launch in Japan, invested significant founder cycles sitting with potential customers, took feedback and designed based on market needs.

We did private beta runs with trusted customers before the launch, which allowed us to launch with a wide portfolio of trusted customers who we could count on to support our services. It also meant that our services were what customers really wanted, not what we felt they needed.

We cure diseases, not symptoms – we should always get to the root cause rather than just change.

On top of that, we created a partnership programme called Soracom Partner Space which delivered additional value to all our customers and partners. As we mentioned previously, we currently have over 250 partners and we are continuing to grow the partner space.

So what made you decide to partner with us in 2017?

We chose to partner with 4 Years From Now (4YFN) for the 2017 event because it is a fantastic business platform for developers and startups.

Soracom is focused on serving IoT connectivity and security services to everyone in a democratized way. Developers and startups are struggling today to get access to affordable secure connectivity for their products and services and most companies like to work with large enterprises. For us, we want to revolutionise that and offer the same level of quality and security of service to all, irrespective of the business or revenue potential.

What is Soracom planning to do during the event?

We have several plans during the 4YFN event! We have just launched our service in the US and we plan to expand in other markets in coming months and years. We will host a number of sessions on the Soracom stage during 4YFN 2017 and we want to introduce our principles, and services.

Apart from talking about who we are and what we do, we plan to do a special session on “Democratization of IoT”. We also have two workshops planned where we will give a more “hands-on” experience to the audience, which is open for anyone to join. We have a booth in the innovation market where we will showcase Soracom and our partner ecosystem services to everyone.  Next to our booth will be a theatre, where we will run several tracks over the three days for people to get more detailed information about services offered by Soracom and our partners.

So in a nutshell, how would you describe your business? What do you offer?

SORACOM is an IoT connectivity solutions provider delivering a high security global network on a scalable pay as you go business model. With APIs available online, any developer, startup, SME or large corporation can get started with creating their IoT use cases with minimal cost.

Large enterprises no longer have to look for their own MVNOs or enter into contracts with network operators to create, manage and secure their own networks. Developers, startups and SMEs can enjoy the same level of security as the largest of enterprises without contractual obligations, volume commitments or high upfront costs. We offer a Global Private IoT network for all. To those wishing to find out more about us, check out our website and come say hello at the 4YFN event in February next year! We would be extremely happy to meet you!”

4 Years From Now (4YFN) 2017 takes place in Barcelona from 27 February – 1 March 2017. If you are interested in finding out further information about the event, visit our website. Alternatively, if you wish to book your place and join as an attendee, buy your ticket here!