Partnerships Manager - Japan

Tokyo, Japan
Added: April 9, 2024
Our mission is to become the global standard for addressing. Street addresses weren’t designed for 2023. They aren’t accurate enough to specify building entrances, and they don’t exist for parks, rural areas and many parts of the world. This makes it hard to find places and causes problems and inefficiencies on a global scale.

That’s why we created what3words. We divided the world into 3m squares and gave each square a unique combination of three words. It’s the easiest way to find and share precise locations.

Over the last year, what3words has been used in 193 countries, and our monthly active users continue to grow at an impressive pace. Our tech is used by emergency services, delivery companies, eCommerce businesses, ride-hailing apps and NGOs, and is integrated into the navigation systems of millions of cars around the world. In Japan our list of partners is growing, what3words is now used by the likes of Navitime, Subaru, the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters stadium and Eniwa Council amongst others. You can read about more businesses using what3words around the world on our website:

The Role

Based in Tokyo and Joining our global business development team, we are looking for someone who can use their entrepreneurial skill set to shape our business development approach to Japan, drive forward relationships and close and manage key partnerships for what3words across a broad variety of sectors.

You will have performed outstandingly in previous roles (we don’t measure success by your former job titles but instead what you achieved in those positions) and are likely to have an accelerated career trajectory when compared against your peers. You will be an outstanding individual contributor, motivated by a challenge, with creativity and problem-solving matched by extremely strong people skills.

We are looking for people who can quickly understand clients’ pain points and match those to the solutions we can provide. You will have a very good understanding of how to access key players (companies and individuals) and will use this knowledge to generate new leads across relevant industries. You will be expected to land new accounts across multiple sectors - from ecommerce and delivery to mobility and travel. Reporting into our Senior Partnerships Lead focused on Japan, with support from our HQ sales and marketing team, you’ll build your own pipeline, find creative ways to sell what3words into big clients and break ground in new industries and geographies.

You’ll play a key part in structuring and negotiating complex contracts and problem-solving technical build phases, working with different project teams in BD, marketing and tech sales especially.

This role is highly demanding – long hours and significant domestic (and sometimes international) travel opportunities will be the norm. You’ll be expected to meet challenging targets, but you’ll reap the rewards of them too.

The wider team is a group of talented people from all over the world on an unprecedented journey. Every day brings new challenges and we are always learning. You will be proud to see your individual and team contributions making a real difference.

This is your opportunity to help build a global business from the ground up.

You will be

  • A fluent Japanese and English speaker
  • Experience doing business with Japanese companies
  • Joining with a track record in opening, managing and closing deals, including revenue
  • Experienced in closing deals, managing a pipeline and managing high-level stakeholders in client companies
  • Determined to have an impact as an individual contributor
  • Extremely tech-savvy (preferably you will have worked with technology, or sold a technology product)
  • Able to engage immediately and confidently with senior influencers
  • An exceptional relationship builder;
  • A natural collaborator who enjoys working in a team with clever and ambitious colleagues
  • Highly persuasive and excellent at getting things done
  • Willing to embrace all aspects of working in a fast-growing business, from managing day-to-day admin to giving speeches to global audiences or pitching CXOs from some of the world’s biggest brands
  • Able to excel under pressure, with meticulous attention to detail
  • Able to travel regularly, including at short notice
  • Motivated by challenging targets and a fast-paced office environment
  • Commercially-minded and committed to global social change through business

Extra credit if you

  • Have run your own business or worked in a fast-growing start-up
  • Speak other languages and have done business abroad or travelled widely
  • Can provide excellent references from colleagues as well as supervisors in your current/previous roles
  • Have successfully sold something completely new and revolutionary

Your team

Our business development team is made up of bright graduates, experienced team builders and outstanding salespeople. We are looking for someone dynamic who believes in our vision for change and is excited to join the company at this stage of growth. We have a culture that encourages curiosity and imagination in how we achieve our goals, and an absolute focus on building a global business.

This is an incredibly exciting time to be joining what3words, as we begin to expand in new global territories. We hope in 5 years you will be proud to tell people you were one of the early joiners at what3words.

You don’t have to have a degree or have been in higher education to apply for this role. Those with unusual career paths (including sabbaticals or time off for parenting, caring or personal development) and/ or career changes are encouraged to get in touch – if you feel energised by what3words and believe your skills can help us accelerate our global growth, we want to hear from you.

We have a culture that encourages curiosity and imagination in how we achieve our goals, and an absolute focus on building a global business.

The role is based in Tokyo, Japan.

Diversity, Equity And Inclusion At What3words

Our mission is to help everyone talk about everywhere, and we believe diverse perspectives make for a better company and better products too. We strongly encourage applications from underrepresented groups and are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in our hiring processes and company culture.


We offer the following benefits for this role in Japan:

  • Competitive salary
  • Flexible working
  • 6 week remote working (work from anywhere) policy
  • 17 days holiday: plus the option to buy more!
  • Share options
  • Private medical insurance
  • Wellbeing Days
  • International EAP
  • Generous parental leave policies
  • Family friendly policies
  • Lunch & learn sessions
  • Social budget