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Intern Builds Billion-Dollar Company Inspired by Mom’s Comment

  • Tsuruoka’s Base is up more than sixfold since listing
  • Japanese company helps small retailers to create online stores

Everything changed for Yuta Tsuruoka when his mother, who runs a small shop in rural Japan, made a passing comment: She wanted to set up her own online store but didn’t know how.

“That was the start of it all,” Tsuruoka, 30, said. “We were in a world where people with no internet skills and no money, like my mom, couldn’t imagine creating online businesses.”