JAPANESE tech firm Sansan, which was one of Japan's most-funded startups before an initial public offering (IPO) in June, has appointed Edward Senju as regional CEO to drive the growth of the group in Singapore and Asean.
Sansan provides cloud-based software to help companies manage their contacts.
"We want to replicate the growth we've had in Japan in other Asian markets including Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, by staying focused on customer needs and revenue growth," said Mr Senju, who was one of the company's first employees in 2009. "Within the last one year, our team in Singapore has already been supporting over 50 clients and we expect to significantly increase the customer base and headcount this year."
Sansan bagged over US$120 million in funding before its IPO on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which raised 33.8 billion yen (S$434 million) - Japan's biggest IPO this year, to date. Its backers included Goldman Sachs, Salesforce, Nikkei, SBI Investment and DCM Ventures.
Mr Senju said of the company's focus in Asean: "We see huge potential among both small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and larger multinationals seeking to capture, track and benefit from the millions of personal business contacts their employees have every single day."
In his early days at the firm, Mr Senju worked on the company's seed funding round while in the finance team. After two years, he was tasked with putting Sansan's consumer app and professional social network, Eight, into active use. He grew the app into a market leader in Japan and brought it overseas, said the company in a press statement.
Sansan owns over an 80 per cent share of the Japanese market, scanning and organising hundreds of millions of cards and contacts a year.