Mercari R4D, a research and development arm of Japanese generalist marketplace Mercari, has constituted an advisory board to strengthen consultation and the decision-making process.

Mercari R4D was established in Dec. 2017. R4D stands for design, development, deployment and disruption. From listings via smart glasses, auto price checker, AI-based photo search and barcode listing to video-supported trade and chatbot, the research wing has introduced a score of features to promote tech-enabled services for users.

R4D is currently working on blockchains, quantum computers, Internet infrastructure and mobility areas as core themes. The department has a 15-member team of researchers.

The advisory board aims at to collaborate with tech companies to experiment innovations and achieve commercial viability of new technologies in future way of trading and interaction.

The board consists of three members. Jun Murai (LinkedIn profile) has been appointed as chairman. Murai is a dean of Graduate School of Media and Governance at Keio University, Tokyo. Yasuhiro Kawahara has been appointed as a member. Kawahara is an engineering professor at the University of Tokyo. Another newly-appointed member is Yuen Woon who’s a robot researcher, entrepreneur, and investor.

Tokyo-based Mercari was founded in 2013. In Japan, its competitors include Yahoo Auctions, Jmty.jp, and Rakuma. The marketplace also operates in the U.S..

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