Exclusive-Japan spot work startup Timee targets July listing, sources say

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan startup Timee, which operates a platform connecting workers seeking side gigs with labor-strapped businesses, is targeting a July listing in Tokyo, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Founded in 2017, Timee aims for a valuation of approximately $1 billion. The joint global coordinators for the listing are Daiwa Securities and Morgan Stanley, the sources said.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange could approve the listing as early as next week, noted one of the sources. Both sources requested anonymity as the information is not yet public.

Timee did not respond to requests for comment. The Tokyo Stock Exchange and Daiwa declined to comment on individual cases, and Morgan Stanley also declined to comment.

Timee’s app enables users to work shifts as short as one hour at restaurants, convenience stores, and hotels, with quick payment. The company reports having 7 million registered users.

Side gigs are becoming more common in Japan as businesses seek flexible labor sources and workers look to supplement their income. Timee’s growth mirrors a changing labor market driven by demographics, inflationary pressures, and a shift to flexible working styles since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Japan is projected to face a labor shortfall of 11 million people by 2040, according to the Recruit Works Institute, due to a shrinking labor supply coupled with robust demand.

Timee competes with Mercari, a flea market app operator that launched a side-gig service in March. Major staffing agencies like Recruit and Dip, which operates the Baitoru part-time job platform, plan to introduce new on-demand work services later this year.

Japan’s spot work market is expected to quintuple to 100 billion yen ($636 million) by the fiscal year ending March 2028, according to data from Dip.

Timee’s investors include trading firm Itochu and digital advertiser CyberAgent. Some investors, including venture capital firm Jafco, plan to sell shares, one source indicated. Jafco declined to comment.

Thirty-two companies, including discount retailer Trial and space junk remover Astroscale, have gone public in Japan this year, raising over $800 million. This compares to 29 listings in the same period last year, which raised over $1.6 billion, according to LSEG data.

($1 = 157.1200 yen)