December 6, 2018
New funding is raised from Japan Post Capital, T. Rowe Price, SBI Investment, and DCM Ventures
Total funding received crosses USD 100 million
Changes Corporate Mission to “Turning encounters into innovation”
Eight app was launched in India in November 2017
Sansan, Inc., the parent company of the Eight app, Japan’s leading business card organizer and professional social networking platform has raised approx. INR 186 crores (USD 26.43 million) in Series-E funding, taking funding to date to approx. INR 7,050 crores (USD 100 million). Sansan’s Series E investment was led by Japan Post Capital, T. Rowe Price, SBI Investment, and DCM Ventures. The additional funding will help Sansan deliver on its new mission: “Turning encounters into innovation.” The company aims to accelerate its development of innovative technologies centered around maximizing the utility of business cards.
Eight is Japan’s largest professional social networking platform. The app has well over 2 million registered users. The Eight app uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven technologies to accurately digitize users’ business cards and helps connect users with their business contacts through a social media framework that transforms business cards into actionable business connections. Having launched in India late last year, the app already has good number of downloads and is slowly expanding its on-ground presence in major cities, starting from Mumbai.
“Professional social networking is gaining momentum in the world”, says Edward Senju, Executive Producer of Eight. He added, “Our vision is to build an innovative global product that enables people to grow their encounters and businesses along with it. With the upcoming trend of building business communities and offline networking gaining more importance again, we aim to bring innovation to help people engage professionally and efficiently. We are thrilled to receive this new round of funding, which will enable us to work better on our new mission, ‘Turning Encounters into Innovation’. The intersection of communication and technology is rapidly evolving, and we are excited to have investors putting their trust in our work.”
Overview of Funding Companies
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 the AI & Blockchain fund it manages.
Japan Post Capital
Japan Post Capital is a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan Post, which primarily focuses on investing. The firm supports the growth of Japanese venture businesses through the network and brand power of the Japan Post Group and invests in companies with high growth potential.
T. Rowe Price
T. Rowe Price is an independent asset management company based in Maryland, USA. The firm manages assets totaling over USD 1 trillion and currently does business in 16 countries worldwide. It manages Japanese stocks through its representative office in Japan.
DCM is a venture capital firm with over USD 4 billion invested in early and mid-stage startups with an innovative approach. The firm supports entrepreneurs through practical management advice, global business network and funding.
As a cloud-based contact management service for businesses, Sansan converts business cards lying dormant within companies into actionable data. While proprietary OCR software is used to instantly digitize each card, actual staff also check each and every card to confirm accuracy. This gives Sansan an unrivalled accuracy rate of 99.9%.
Apart from Eight, Sansan also offers a B2B service which is deployed in over 7,000 companies globally, mostly large businesses, and it has achieved a status as must-have business infrastructure for its clients.
With this Series-E round of funding, Sansan will accelerate its business growth to fulfill the new mission of ‘turning encounters into innovation’ via the combination of new data science, machine learning, and associated technologies. This latest round of funding takes the cumulative total of capital to approximately 11.4 billion yen (approximately INR 707 crore).
About Sansan’s Mission
By changing its mission statement from “Creating a resource from everyday business encounters and transforming the way the world works” to “Turning encounters into innovation”, Sansan is reconfirming its commitment to providing quality services to its clients and to continuously improve and evolve their products with the use of cutting-edge technology.
No matter the era, it has been encounters between people that have driven events. Sansan is changing the nature of encounters themselves and helping its users to make the most of every opportunity.
About Sansan Inc.
Founded in 2007, Sansan is a cloud-based contact management solution for corporations in Japan, Singapore and India. Sansan is setting a global standard for cloud-based contact management, with annually doubling numbers of users. Sansan, Inc. is based in Tokyo, Japan and set up its global office in Singapore in October 2015. The company began offering its B2C app Eight in 2012. With over 2 million registered users, it is a contact management solution that incorporates a social media framework to transform business cards into tangible business relationships.
Founded: June 11, 2007
Address: Aoyama Oval Building, 13F, 5-52-2, Jingu-Mae Shibuya-Ku Tokyo 150-0001
Business scope: Planning, development, and sales of cloud-based business card management services
Sansan for business users: https://www.sansan.com
Launched in 2012, Eight is the ultimate business card organizer and professional social networking platform. It has over 2 million registered users as a new business network that incorporates a social media framework to transform business cards into business connections.
It is a simple way to stay connected to every connection, especially the ones made offline that may one day prove so valuable to one's professional success.