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"Sharing service" divided into "light and dark" by the new corona, the current situation of 4 domestic companies
Although the sharing service for goods, places, and people has expanded from the viewpoint of being environmentally friendly and highly convenient, some businesses such as Airbnb have suffered great damage worldwide due to the spread of the new coronavirus infection. There is. On the other hand, some businesses have found new opportunities. From interviews with the Sharing Economy Association and four members of the association, we will explore the possibilities of sharing services in the age of coexistence with Corona. (Editor / Writer Mukohatawakako)
Is Corona Influence "Real / Face-to-face"?
Light and dark with "online" service
Sharing services for goods, places, and people have expanded in Japan as well, amid trends such as reducing the environmental burden, securing a labor force in the era of population decline, and lifting the ban on side businesses due to work style reforms. However, due to the spread of the new coronavirus infection, some businesses are "feeling a headwind for sharing."
In order to understand this situation, the Sharing Economy Association, which is an industry group of sharing services, conducted a "questionnaire survey on the impact of the spread of the new coronavirus infection" regarding the impact of the spread of the new coronavirus infection. The subjects of the survey are businesses that provide sharing services and individuals who earn income from sharing services.
According to the results of the questionnaire announced, both businesses and individuals are greatly affected by the decrease in service usage. However, there are signs of positive changes such as responding to online and non-face-to-face needs and shifting to share working as a side business that is conscious of risk diversification.
For businesses, usage or sales decreased due to face-to-face services that create a so-called "three-cs" state, services that involve users going out, and services related to target stores for which self-restraint was requested. On the other hand, there are cases where the use of services that have been provided online or services that have shifted to online has increased. In addition, as users spend more time at home, they have more opportunities to clean and organize their homes, and services such as home delivery trunk rooms are also being used more and more.
Each sharing service provider has been affected differently by the new coronavirus infection and has taken various measures. We talked to four member companies of the Sharing Economy Association about their response to the corona disaster and their views on the future of the sharing economy toward the era of coexistence with the corona.
While being affected by the decrease in movement
"I-kasa" to be renewed
"I-kasa" is an umbrella sharing service. I-kasa, which allows you to rent umbrellas installed at spots in the city on your smartphone and return them to the nearest spot when the rain stops, will develop services in Kanto, Fukuoka, and Okayama. As of May 2020, there are about 900 spots nationwide, and about 100,000 people have registered for the service, and in June, they plan to expand into parts of the Kansai region.
Aikasa spots are mainly located in shops and stations in downtown areas, and there are many installations along stations and railway lines, especially in partnership with railway companies. Teruji Marukawa, CEO of Nature Innovation Group, which operates I-kasa, said that the impact of the new coronavirus disease "has decreased the number of users in the city due to refraining from going out." I-kasa also has an all-you-can-use subscription plan, but the basic plan is 70 yen for 24 hours (up to 420 yen per month) and is charged according to the number of times of use, so the decrease in usage opportunities will hurt the company. It would have been.
I-kasa, which was first launched in December 2018, was provided using LINE's friend registration, but on June 8th, it released its own app, making it easy to rent and borrow in the Tokyo, Yokohama, and Omiya areas. Has also been renewed. At the same time, the umbrella itself is easy to repair and has been replaced with a stronger and more water-repellent one (in Fukuoka and Mito, the old type of service using LINE will continue for the time being).
"The renewal was planned before the spread of the new corona infection, and we planned to replace it in April. The work was delayed a little by the announcement of the state of emergency, but due to the product replacement, from May 7 to 6 The service in the target area was suspended until the 7th of March, so the timing was just right. "
Despite being affected, I-kasa is also exploring what the company can do with the new Corona. "It's true that some of our activities will go online, but some will have to work offline, so for those who are forced to go out, some rubbing alcohol will be available from April 16th. I decided to install it at Aikasa Spot "(Mr. Marukawa)
"Given the possibility that getting wet and catching a cold can lead to an infection risk, the service itself may be useful," says Marukawa. "I don't know how long the corona sickness will last, but it will be difficult to completely eliminate the risk. In the meantime, I hope to keep the spots alive and support them by disinfecting hands and renting umbrellas."
The number of passengers getting on and off railways in major city areas is still decreasing compared to before, but Mr. Marukawa says, "Movement opportunities will not be zero." "The way of living has changed, and the number of people in big towns and office districts has decreased, but there are also places where people have increased, such as supermarkets in shopping districts and residential areas. As the needs change, the shift from concentration to decentralization I think we have to develop accordingly. "(Mr. Marukawa)
Mr. Marukawa says, "I am not pessimistic as a whole" about the future of the sharing economy in the age of coexistence with corona.
"In the short term, it is necessary to take action to save lives, and it is still a point of calm or restlessness, but in the last few months, the situation in the Internet area seems to have advanced by two years. People's lifestyles have also changed. Everyone is thinking about what is really important. If the sharing economy is to live efficiently and affluently by sharing things and people, the root is what IT is aiming for. It's the same as. I think we can promote diverse lifestyles according to everyone's free time. "(Mr. Marukawa)
Increased demand due to car commuting At "akippa"
Thorough cost review is also implemented
The parking lot reservation application "akippa" is a matching service that allows you to rent and rent vacant spaces such as uncontracted monthly parking lots, private garages, vacant lots, and commercial facilities as parking lots in 15-minute units and daily units. It is. As of June, akippa, which started its service in 2014, has a cumulative total of 36,000 parking lots and a cumulative total of over 1.8 million members.
Regarding the impact of the new coronavirus on the service, Genki Kanaya, CEO of akippa, who operates the service, said, "Commuting demand has increased significantly." The reason is that people who have to commute choose to commute by car, avoiding crowded trains.
In Tokyo as a whole, compared to February, it increased 2.3 times in the week immediately after the announcement of the state of emergency in April, and quadrupled at the end of May after the declaration was lifted. In the central areas of Chiyoda, Chuo, and Minato Wards, the number increased from 3.5 times in April to about 5 times at the end of May. Even in urban areas other than Tokyo, such as Kita-ku, Osaka, Fukuoka, and Nagoya, there were many areas where the number increased compared to February.
Mr. Kanaya said, "There was a benefit to sales on weekdays" due to commuting demand. "People who haven't used akippa until now can feel the benefits of parking lot sharing, and the user base has expanded," he said.
Regarding the registration on the side of the host that provides the parking space, Mr. Kanaya says, "The provision of private home space is increasing."
"I think we are thinking of securing a new revenue base because hosts can also register without initial costs. Space increased in April, but it has increased even more in May," (Mr. Kanaya).
On the other hand, it is said that demand on Saturdays and Sundays has decreased because various events such as professional sports are no longer held. In areas where usage has decreased, we are implementing initiatives such as providing space for affiliated parking lots as a vegetable direct sales office and utilizing it as a lunch box sales office in collaboration with YACYBER, a startup that supports direct vegetable sales. We plan to continue selling vegetables directly in the future.
Mr. Kanaya said, "Although the business performance has not improved recently, we expect that it will lead to future business expansion by expanding the user base and increasing the space." In addition, regarding the temporarily declining demand for events, it is planned that the holding of professional sports events will be limited to 5,000 spectators after July 10. It is expected to be held in August with up to half of the capacity.
"There is a need to increase the number of parking lots because we are worried about the use of public transportation before and after the game, even if we can secure a space between seats, and inquiries and alliances from club teams are increasing." (Kanaya) Mr)
Mr. Kanaya said that akippa has already formed alliances with teams such as the J League, professional baseball, and basketball leagues, and "we will continue to emphasize cooperation with these professional sports teams as a source of revenue." ing.
"I'm hoping that if the event resumes, the usage will increase more than before, along with the increase in usage in the city center," (Mr. Kanaya).
In addition, Mr. Kanaya says that akippa thoroughly reviewed the cost taking the opportunity of the corona wreck.
"I think we have a muscular system considering the worst scenario. Thanks to that, we are doing well on an operating income basis, and looking ahead, I feel that it was not all bad. So far, 3.5 billion yen It's been six years since I raised money and invested in the future, but now I think it's important to look at it now. Cash is very important and the value of 100 million yen is much higher than before. I have come to think that I can grow because I have a stable foundation, and I have begun to shift the balance not only to growth but also to stable business operations. "(Mr. Kanaya)
Regarding the future of the sharing economy in general, Mr. Kanaya refused, "Since trends and methods differ from service to service, I can't say it unconditionally." No. Education and skill sharing offered online may increase. Everyone's familiarity with online is also helping. "
Furthermore, "mobility such as car sharing is now selected by people who have not used it before," says Kanaya. "If we can prevent infection, we may be able to use more services such as car sharing," he said.
The move from face-to-face to online
"VisasQ" accelerated at a stretch
"VisasQ", a matching service for spot consulting, is a service in which people with experience in various business fields register as advisors and share their knowledge with "spot consulting" on an hourly basis. The counselor can consult face-to-face, telephone, or online on issues such as new business development, marketing, and global expansion. Currently, the number of registered advisors exceeds 100,000, and it is one of the largest platforms in Japan for matching individual knowledge in the business field.
Mr. Yu Miyazaki, executive officer of VisasQ, who manages the service, said that the impact of the new coronavirus infection on the business was "currently limited, and sales etc. did not dent significantly in the latest."
Conventionally, spot consulting that matches advisors and consultants can be used by telephone or online, but it seems that there were many cases in which users, mainly business corporations, wanted to "listen face-to-face." However, it is said that "online has accelerated at a stretch" as online meetings have become commonplace due to the corona virus. Miyazaki welcomes this as a positive change.
In the past, spot consulting that matches advisors and consultants can be used by telephone or online, but it seems that there were many cases in which users, mainly business corporations, wanted to "listen face-to-face." However, it is said that "online has accelerated at a stretch" as online meetings have become commonplace due to the corona virus. Miyazaki welcomes this as a positive change.
"By eliminating the need to move, advisors will be able to use their free time to move. Online spot consulting is likely to continue to be used in the future," said Miyazaki.
VisasQ Executive Officer Mr. Yu Miyazaki Provided by: VisasQ
VisasQ Executive Officer Mr. Yu Miyazaki Provided by: VisasQ
On the other hand, in the "VisasQ project", a service that supports the development of new businesses of companies from idea creation to business planning by utilizing the knowledge of 100,000 registrants, "In-house contests are held through the in-house proposal system. Therefore, workshops and study sessions for this purpose have been conducted as group training. Such training has been postponed for the time being, which has had some impact, "says Miyazaki.
However, on May 18th, VisasQ established a system to provide face-to-face workshops and study sessions online, and started offering online packages. It is said that it has supported online training, including interactive training.
Mr. Miyazaki commented, "We will continue to go online in the future." "I would like to reduce the burden on advisors, participants, and each other by going online, rather than undoing the state of emergency just because it has been declared. We will proceed with training while choosing the optimal form."
"In cases such as when you had to come to Tokyo for training, you may be able to respond without having to move, which may rather broaden your horizons. Corona will give more people an opportunity to serve. I want to provide "(Mr. Miyazaki)
"Because of this corona disaster, it's no longer normal to stay in the office all the time. Clearance time is being created from the time that was previously bundled as working hours." , Miyazaki talks about the sharing economy in the era of coexistence with corona as follows.
"I think there will be more opportunities for individuals to use their free time to secure new ways to work and demonstrate their skills. It is difficult to judge whether it is positive or negative, but one company so far It may not be normal to just belong to a company and get a salary from a company. If that happens, the flow of individuals actively sharing their possessions and skills will accelerate. " (Mr. Miyazaki)
"LEBER" that you can consult a doctor 24 hours a day with the app
Increased number of users
Regarding the new corona infection, it is the platform "LEBER" that shares the doctor's clearance time with the concept of "doctor share" that "has a large positive impact on management". At LEBER, you can consult a doctor 24 hours a day, 365 days a year through a smartphone app.
Normally, LEBER is operated by monthly billing for each use, but due to the spread of the new coronavirus infection, consultations related to coronavirus will be free from February 12. After that, all consultations were made free of charge until May 31 for the purpose of reducing user anxiety and preventing medical collapse. In addition, since June, we have continued to provide about 40,000 free consultations through crowdfunding conducted through the crowdfunding "READY FOR".
Mr. Seino Taga, director of the AGREE Public Health Office, who runs LEBER, said, "In general, online medical care is often handled by doctors by dividing the time, but in LEBER, chatbots handle most of the questions and interviews. This saves the doctor time, and the doctor only has to deal with the last few minutes. " "Experts are also expecting this feature to prevent the collapse of medical care," he said.
Due to measures such as free consultation, the use of LEBER "increased both the number of users and the number of consultations". Compared to before the spread of the new corona infection, the number of consultations increased by 4.3 times and the number of registered users increased by 7.8 times by April. In addition, LEBER has increased the number of host doctors as the number of consultations has increased. The number of doctors, which was 110 in January, is now over 270.
Mr. Seino Taga, General Manager of AGREE Public Health Office Provided by: AGREE
Mr. Seino Taga, General Manager of AGREE Public Health Office Provided by: AGREE
LEBER said that the number of inquiries from local governments increased due to the corona disaster. Already, Ibaraki Prefecture is implementing a project to provide free medical consultations to about 1.2 million households and 2.87 million residents in the prefecture until September 30th. Mr. Taga says, "We will continue to carry out projects centered on local governments."
In particular, it is important to manage the physical condition and temperature of children at schools where school attendance has resumed in various places due to the cancellation of the state of emergency. AGREE has developed "LEBER for School", an app that allows you to manage body temperature and physical condition using LEBER. It has been decided to introduce it to municipal elementary and junior high schools in Tsukuba City and Tsukubamirai City, Ibaraki Prefecture.
Conventionally, the body temperature record was submitted on paper, the teacher listened to the physical condition, and it took a lot of effort to tabulate. With LEBER for School, parents can use the app, and parents can report their temperature and physical condition to the school via the app without the hassle of writing documents and handing them over. The school side can grasp not only the body temperature of each child / student but also the overall situation such as the average body temperature and fever rate at once.
"We plan to expand the use of LEBER and LEBER for School nationwide, using Ibaraki Prefecture as a model," says Taga.
"The sharing economy is a general term for services that match users and hosts, and some are online and some are face-to-face. I think that some of them are in a three-csed state," says Taga. "Even if you are face-to-face, there are things that are needed for the penetration of remote work, such as babysitter services and housekeeping services," he said. "In fields where health management is required, the anxiety of living bases is resolved. I want to provide services that can be done. "
"I would like AGREE's services to be useful for the health management of users and hosts with services that require real communication" (Mr. Taga)
Share economy is a "new mutual assistance model"
For a saucer for a flexible way of life
As we have seen so far, even if it is a sharing service, depending on the conditions such as whether it can be provided online and whether it can be used offline to avoid three stagnation, the light and darkness due to the influence of the new corona infection The measures that are considered necessary in the future are very different.
Anju Ishiyama, the secretary general of the Sharing Economy Association, also said, "The non-face-to-face sharing economy has not been affected so much, and there are platforms that are growing." In addition, face-to-face services also include "temporary contact points when providing services, and services that have already received orders for housekeeping services and babysitter services and have built a certain degree of trust between the host and the user. In some cases, it is used in situations where the burden and cost of child-rearing and housework are high due to temporary closures, closures, and remote work. "
Mr. Ishiyama points out that the sharing economy is also playing an active role as a new "model of mutual assistance" under the influence of the Corona disaster. For example, in collaboration with Kobe City and Uber Eats, measures such as reduction of service fees when using takeout for the purpose of supporting restaurants are being implemented. In addition, some businesses are implementing measures such as medical support, user support for school closures and park closures, and discount coupon distribution implemented by akippa to people who need to move by car in their daily lives. Mr. Ishiyama commented, "As a business model, the share economy is characterized by the fact that it is possible to instantly match" owners "and" people who need it "online, free of charge, and change fees in an emergency." ing.
In addition, some businesses have come up with measures to prevent the spread of infection at a relatively early stage. In the case of StreetAcademy, which provides a matching service for "people who want to teach" and "people who want to learn," online courses that the company has not officially approved will be supported from April, and June 1st. Since then, it has begun to be a formal service. "Various countermeasures are coming out" from each business operator to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus disease, Ishiyama said.
"In the short term, inbound customer-centered share services and face-to-face shares that involve three stakes when providing services are expected to continue to cause damage, but as with businesses such as restaurants and department stores, in proportion to the relaxation of self-restraint from going out. The situation will gradually return, "says Ishiyama. However, "In the future, in face-to-face share services, consideration and enhancement of safety in terms of hygiene may require more commitment as a business operator."
In the long run, Mr. Ishiyama says, "I think there will be movements to reassess the way of working that depends on companies in urban areas and the way of living such as buying a house in the city."
"I think the sharing economy is expected as a way of working and living itself, with a more free and flexible lifestyle, multiple sources of income, whereabouts, and communities. For example, as a way of living, monthly fee. From 40,000 yen, it is expected that more and more people will use the sharing economy service as a host for models such as the sharing service "ADDress" that allows them to live nationwide, and as a receiver for side jobs and side jobs. "