Sansan, a cloud-based contacts management company with operations in Japan and Singapore, has raised JPY 3 billion (US$26.43 million) in Series E round of investment from a host of investors, including Japan Post Capital, T. Rowe Price, SBI Investment, and DCM Ventures.
This brings the company’s total investment raised to date to over US$100 million.
“With fresh funding, we are well positioned to strengthen the whole value chain from marketing to sales and customer success,” said Chika Terada, Founder and CEO of Sansan.
“Singapore is the perfect location to establish our first international office, given its status as a regional hub for Southeast Asia. Our team will aim to deliver the value of Sansan to customers outside of Japan starting with Singapore, and from there globally,” said Kei Tomioka, Co-founder and Director of Sansan.
Started in 2007, Sansan provides a business card-based contact management solution for companies. It enables businesses of all sizes to build contact database of their real-world network by scanning business cards with the Sansan Scanner Set or a mobile phone.
In other words, Sansan converts business cards lying dormant within companies into actionable data. While proprietary OCR software is used to instantly digitise each card, actual staff also check each and every card to confirm accuracy.
The system natively helps users track job changes, view contact’s backgrounds and social media presence. It also acts as an internal social network of business contacts.
Sansan also offers a B2C app called ‘Eight‘ which is built for individual users. It is a professional social network with over two million registered users. ‘Eight’ provides options such as instant chat messaging and an activity feed, providing business opportunities and timely updates from one’s network. Since its launch in October 2017 outside Japan, the app has acquired over 100,000 users across Indonesia, India, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore.
The firm claims is services have been deployed by over 7,000 companies worldwide, including Lenovo Group, Merck & Co. and Seven & i Holdings Co. Some of its clients in Singapore include A*Star, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Tokyo Gas, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Shimadzu, and Sumitomo Chemical.
Japan Post Capital is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japan Post that is primarily engaged in investing. It supports the growth of Japanese venture businesses by investing in companies that can be expected to grow through utilisation of the network and brand power of the Japan Post Group.
DCM Ventures is a venture capital group with over US$3 billion invested. It has offices in Silicon Valley, Beijing, Tokyo and support entrepreneurs through practical management advice, global business network and funding.
SBI Investment is a subsidiary of SBI Holdings that actively engages in venture capital investment in growth fields. The company participated in this round of funding through its AI and blockchain fund.
T. Rowe Price is a leading independent asset management company based in the US. It manages assets totalling over US$1 trillion and currently does business in 16 countries worldwide.