Peatix, a Japanese online events management and ticketing startup that launched in 2011, expanded its offices to Singapore and the United States last year with the help of new funding. Peatix CEO and co-founder Taku Harada says the fast-growing, customer-focused platform now supports more than 17,000 events in 25 countries. Harada says the company leverages available technologies such as mobile devices and social media, while emphasizing ease of use, competitive pricing, and payment options to meet customers' needs and respond to their feedback. Peatix also strives to equip organizers with an easier tool with which to create events. "Some startups think if you build a platform, customers will come," but Harada says that is not the case. He notes the company talks with customers go get their feedback. For example, Harada says Japanese customers prefer many payment options, including the use of cash, so the company made it possible to buy tickets in convenience stores using cash. "Our mission is to empower event organizers," he says. "Rather than trying to replace the competitors, we try to do something that would impact a larger percentage of the customers."