Interview with Masato Kakamu, founder of Globalway.

Interview with Masato Kakamu, founder of Globalway.

Globalway is an innovative company that drives five core businesses under the mission of "People and Technology for a New Era".

Globalway is an innovative company driving five core businesses under the mission of "People and Technology for a New Era". Since its IPO (Initial Public Offering) on the TSE Mothers Market in 2016, the company has grown to over 100 employees. In 2021, its market capitalisation exceeded 70 billion yen, the best performance in its history.
Mr Masato Kakamu, the company's founder and chairman, talks about how and why he started the company, which he named Globalway, meaning "Pave the Way to the World", and where the company is going.

Mr Masato Kakamu, the founder and chairman of the company, talks about how and why he created the company that he named Globalway, meaning “Pave the Way to the World”, and where the company is going now.

About Masato Kakamu, Chairman of Globalway

Prior to running his own business, Masato was involved in development and operation of algorithmic trading and risk management systems at UBS and Deutsche Bank. He then joined an American enterprise software company as a founding member of its Japanese subsidiary, where he became the top salesperson for all offices worldwide.

Masato founded Globalway in 2005. As CEO, he led the company to a listing on the TSE Mothers Market in 2016. He later became chairman, and the company achieved its best performance in fiscal 2021, with a market capitalisation of over 70 billion yen.

Masato has also invested around 1.3 billion yen in TimeTicket, a Group company. As CEO of the company, he has driven the business forward. TimeTicket has three core businesses: a skill-sharing platform for freelancers, live steaming management, and consulting services.

He is an avid angel and equity investor.

Off to the USA, inspired by Hideyo Noguchi

Growing up, I was crazy about baseball. In junior high school, I was the third batter and captain of our team. We won the prefectural championship. After that, I decided to go to a private boarding school on a baseball scholarship because I wanted to devote myself to baseball. My dream was to play in the National High School Baseball Championship, but it did not come true, so I decided to become an entrepreneur.

Both my father and grandfather were business owners, so I always thought I would run a business one day. The problem was that I didn't really know what I wanted to do. One day I remembered the biography of Hideyo Noguchi that I had read as a child and decided to go to the US to explore my options. It was just about the time that companies like Microsoft and Dell were coming into the world.

I thought it would be a good idea to start an IT company, so I decided to go to the University of Washington's School of Business, where I could learn about finance and computers. In the beginning, I had to spend almost all my time studying. Once I settled into my routine, I wanted to save money for my future business, so I started a small business exporting used clothing to Japan. Many of the vintage items I exported at that time, including some famous brands such as NIKE and LEVI'S, ended up in the shops in the Uraharajuku area.

Learning business the hard way

After graduating from university, I returned to Japan in 1997 and joined UBS Securities headquartered in Switzerland as an engineer. I thought it would be useful to gain some work experience as an engineer because I wanted to start an IT company. I also thought that practical experience in advanced mathematical analysis would be useful, so I decided to get involved in developing applications for equity analysis.

I then went to work for Deutsche Bank as a trader with IT skills in algorithmic trading. My salary as a trader was about 14 million yen.  At the age of 26, I thought it was time to start my own business, but I realised that I only had 3 million yen. I also asked my friend to look at my business plan, but he just said, "It's no good".

His words made me realise that I needed to get more specialised skills and relearn business.  At the age of 27, I decided to work for webMethods to expand my social networks and save more money. webMethods was a high-profile software start-up in the US at the time, and the job gave me the opportunity to learn about sales and marketing. Even though the starting salary was 6 million yen, less than half of what I was making as a trader, I was excited.

The previous jobs at the foreign financial institutions were tough enough but the job at webMethods wasn’t any easier. As a regional manager, I sold software worth tens to 100 million yen or more. When I became the top sales person among all the branches around the world, my salary increased to 75 million yen at the age of 30.

IPO and reverse roadmap

My turning point came when I ended up in hospital with a high fever from a serious bacterial infection. Before that, I had forced myself to go on business trips overseas, despite lack of sleep and poor health. I was horrified when the doctor told me he almost had to amputate my leg. This incident made me realise that if I don't have good health, I can't achieve anything. The same goes for my staff; their health is important.

It was around this time that I had the idea for the company review site "Career Connection". While working for the foreign-owned companies, I noticed the differences in work culture between Japanese and Western companies. While studying in the US, I was inspired by people who worked hard to achieve their dreams, regardless of race, background or age. While corporate Japan provides a sense of security, the system does not allow for individual empowerment, which creates a lot of stress for people. I wanted to do something about that.

When I finally had enough money, I felt ready for a challenge and started my own business in 2004. However, people around me were very sceptical about my decision, saying, "You must be crazy to give up such a well-paid job!" In reality, I had to work for free for the first year and the money disappeared quickly.

However, I had no regrets about starting my own business as I had already mapped out my plans and worked backwards from the plan. According to my reverse roadmap, I was to start my own business at the age of 30 and make a significant contribution to society by the age of 40. The reverse roadmap kept me on track and I managed to list Globalway on the TSE at the age of 43. However, I know I couldn't have done it all on my own. In this sense, I'm truly grateful to my business partners and employees who have supported me along the way.

At the time of listing, at the Tokyo Stock Exchange

The 'second founding phase': running the business without compromise

Globalway was named in the hope that one day we would become a global company with a strong social impact. We have adopted the best practices of the foreign-owned companies I have worked for in terms of compensation and work-life balance. We also celebrate ethnic diversity by recruiting non-Japanese employees.

However, as the company grew, more and more things were out of my control. Although our turnover was growing, additional challenges were created because our business model, organisational structure and the skills we needed were changing all the time. The targets we set were no longer at a level that I could achieve on my own.

Since becoming a listed company, there have been times when we have had to change our policy on overseas investments and the services we provide to companies. In addition, growth in some existing businesses has been lower than expected. The information technology environment has also changed a lot since I founded the company. We have seen the emergence of new services using cutting-edge technologies, such as AI and blockchain.

Our business needs to grow by adapting to the new business environment. We need to look at what is happening now in the light of what we want to achieve, while focusing on growth areas. We are now in our second founding phase and we are determined to "Pave New Ways to the World".

We now have a restructured company with the new CEO of Globalway, Mr Yoshikazu Koyama. Mr Koyama was one of our core members who helped to take the company public, and he re-joined us after working for a foreign consulting firm. With Mr Koyama's proven leadership skills, I decided to step back and take on a supportive role as Chairman, while mentoring young management teams.

A human economy for the benefit of everyone

After transferring the authority to create the "second founding phase" of Globalway, I began to focus my time and resources on TimeTicket, with my own investment of about 1.3 billion yen.

TimeTicket is a pioneer in the "skill-sharing" sector of the sharing economy in Japan, where individuals play a leading role in value creation.

Since its spin-off from Globalway in 2019, TimeTicket has continued to grow its user base by leveraging synergies with Globalway, and now has 1 million users.

In an effort to expand its business, TimeTicket also launched a live streaming management business and a consulting business in 2023.

More than 500 creators are currently involved in the live streaming business, mainly on TikTok.

Our consulting business provides strategic, business and technology advice to major companies.

Building a business that can live beyond my time

As a company, we want to help people live happy lives. Globalway aims to improve work-life balance, while TimeTicket aims to foster autonomy and individuality.

My goal is to build a trusted brand that is valued by a billion people. It's not about getting a lot of users on board; it's about creating a service that a lot of people want to use.

My motto is "Be a Maverick Innovator". This was also Globalway's corporate philosophy when I was CEO. This motto comes from my desire to be an innovator, someone who is always ready to take on challenges and constantly create ideas for new services and businesses.

With this motto in mind, our goal is to expand the Globalway Group's networks throughout the world. TimeTicket is already expanding its business overseas, particularly in Southeast Asia. By adapting to changes in technology and trends, we aim to create a business that is not only socially meaningful, but also valued by many people.

It is also important to support and mentor young entrepreneurs and managers who may one day take over what I want to do. We want to invest in and support entrepreneurs who can lead our society in the right direction.

Taking on challenges to make a difference to the world

My motto "Be a Maverick Innovator" is embodied by the Spanish architect I admire, Antonio Gaudi. Antonio produced many unique architectural creations, characterised by their colours and curves.

The Sagrada Familia (Church of the Holy Family), to which he dedicated his life, has been faithfully rebuilt by the next generation of craftsmen since his death. I want to create something similar, something that I have started and that can be passed on to future generations.

The world is constantly changing. I want to help change the world, both as an innovator and as a supporter of innovators who drive change.

Related links: extracts from the services provided by Globalway and TimeTicket

TimeTicket: sharing economy service that connects buyers and sellers of service


TimeTicket Production: official TikTok live streaming agency


Cript Consulting: consulting business operated by TimeTicket




Career Connection: one of the largest corporate review sites in Japan


Resaco powered by Career Connection: company research site for professionals


Career Connection News: news for workers


Career Connection Job: job site for those looking for better opportunities



グローバルウェイ創業者 各務正人 インタビュー「世界に通じる道」を切り拓くために今なすべきこと

「“人” と “技術” を新しい時代のために」を掲げ、5つの事業を推進するグローバルウェイ。2016年の東証マザーズ上場を経て従業員100人を超える規模に成長。2021年度は過去最高の業績を達成し時価総額700億円を突破した。会長の各務正人が「世界に通じる道」と名付けた会社を創業した経緯と、今後の方向性について語る。

タイムチケットCRiPT(クリプト)コンサルティング事業責任者 島本遼太郎インタビュー「お客様・社会・自社」の三方よしを実現する



ソーシャル・ウェブメディア事業部の事業責任者である私、根本がリクルートを辞めてまでこの会社に転職を決めた理由や入社して初めてわかった弊社のいいところを素直にお話しします。 カジュアル面談に来てくださった方や人材紹介会社の方に予め説明する内容(=よく聞かれる内容)でもあります。弊社に少しでも興味を持っていただけ幸いです。