Japan’s Sansan bags $26.4m from T. Rowe, DCM Ventures to boost India growth

Photo: Reuters

Sansan Inc, a Japanese B2B (business-to-business) professional card managing app, launched Eight, its flagship product, in India, last year. The company plans to deploy a part its Series E funding to develop the product further for a bigger foray into the Indian market.

The flagship app currently has around 1,00,000 registered users in India and around 2 million across Singapore and Japan.

Sansan raised $26.43 million in Series E funding from Japan Post Capital, T. Rowe Price, SBI Investment and DCM Ventures, according to a statement released by the company on Thursday. Amit Mishra, director of strategy at Eight, did not reveal the exact amount that will be invested in India.

A customer-to-customer cards managing platform, Eight lets a user scan its peers’ business cards and store in the phone memory. Apart from scanning cards, the user can also message, set meeting alerts and detect if other app users are present in the same vicinity.

“People these days exchange cards and forget about it very easily. Many times it is difficult to recall names and then communication becomes difficult,” according to Mishra. “People have realised that strong business relationships are built through meeting in-person and it is staying in-touch and messaging people becomes tricky once the card is lost.”

A team in Mumbai is set up to handle Eight’s local operations. The app gets its major demand from cities, including Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Vadodara and Surat, according to Mishra.

Apart from India, Sansan also plans to expand Eight’s user base in Japan, where it claims to be a leading player, and Singapore.

“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,” according to Edward Senju, executive producer of Eight, in the statement.

In India, Eight will compete with digital business card solutions, including Haystack and CamCard.

This article was first published on livemint.com