Gojo & Company, Inc. (Gojo) is pleased to announce that Mr. Arnaud Ventura, Founder and CEO of Baobab Group until end of 2019, has joined Gojo as Managing Partner.
Before joining Gojo, Arnaud founded and led two of the foremost European financial inclusion groups active in Micro & SME digital finance.
Between 1998 and 2008, Arnaud co-founded and led PlaNet Finance with the support of Jacques Attali (Chairman) and Muhammad Yunus (Chairman Advisory Board). It was one of the most successful European financial inclusion groups, providing mainly advisory services in the sector and operating in more than 30 markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
In 2008, Arnaud then went on to found Baobab (formerly MicroCred), the leading Micro & SME digital bank in Africa & China. In 2019 alone, Baobab lent $1 billion to 1 million clients, generating around $200 million total revenues and more than $40 million pre-tax profit.
Since he left Baobab in December 2019, Arnaud has served as an advisor to Gojo and we have built trusting relationships. Arnaud will support the organization and development of Gojo by establishing an optimal group governance system, supporting the digital strategy of the group and fundraising activities, as well as leading Gojo’s initial entry to Africa. With over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience in microfinance and a global network, Arnaud is expected to further accelerate Gojo’s fundraising, digitalization, investment, and geographic expansion strategy immediately into Africa and beyond.
Arnaud is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum. He also co-founded the French China Foundation, the leading network of Young Leaders between France and China, and Share Africa, a platform to promote Africa's innovation and creativity. Arnaud graduated from EFREI, Paris, in Computer Science, and La Sorbonne in Philosophy. He speaks French, English and Spanish fluently and loves reading history & philosophy. He loves skiing and hiking in the mountains (particularly in the south of France), and has 2 young boys.
Arnaud states, “Since advising Taejun Shin, Founder & CEO, and Gojo’s team for more than 1 year, I have been impressed by the quality of the team and the ambition of the company. I am happy to be able to support its development and transform Gojo’s vision into reality in the coming years”.
Gojo extends a warm welcome to Arnaud and looks forward to extending financial inclusion further!
About Gojo & Company
Gojo was founded to extend financial inclusion to everyone in the world beginning with the developing countries. Gojo encourages the formalization and growth of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. Our long-term goal is to enable the provision of high-quality affordable financial services for 100+ million unserved and underserved people in 50+ countries by 2030. Six years since our establishment, we work in Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and India with USD 310 million gross loan portfolio, 5,000+ employees, serving more than 627,000 clients.
Gojo to accelerate investments to fuel further digitalization and social impact of group companies as it successfully completes the final close of its Series D financing
Gojo & Company, Inc. (“Gojo”) is pleased to announce the successful final close of its Series D financing of USD 26 million. Gojo has raised a total of USD 68 million in Series D, with cumulative paid-in capital since our establishment in July 2014 now reaching USD 140 million.
In addition to follow-on investments from existing shareholders, The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited, MARUI GROUP Co., and ASTMAX Fund Management Co., Ltd. as the General Partner of TUS (Tokyo University of Science) Capital Ⅰ L.P., Gojo welcomes RICOH LEASING COMPANY, LTD., Beyond Next Ventures Inc., GMO VenturePartners, Inc., and several newly joined institutional and individual investors in this final close.
We see the follow-on investments from existing shareholders and investments from these distinguished new investors as indications of their confidence in Gojo’s ability to achieve double bottom line returns, seeking both financial sustainability and positive social impact through financial inclusion. As a business whose core vision is to enable people in poverty to overcome barriers to better futures, Gojo is committed to delivering positive impact on the following Sustainable Development Goals: Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere; Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth; and Goal 10: Reduced inequality.
Gojo’s group companies have shown quick recovery from COVID-19 impact and are now en route back to growth. The funds raised will mainly be used to further their growth and digitalization , to explore future expansion opportunities in new markets in Asia and Africa, and to engage in further impact measurement activities to evaluate the outcomes of our operations in clients’ lives.
Nomination of Ms. Royanne Doi as new independent director to strengthen group governance
Gojo is happy to announce the nomination of Ms. Royanne Doi, former Corporate Chief Ethics Officer of Prudential Financial Inc., and former Advisor for Global Legal, Ethics & Compliance to Yamaha Corporation as independent director of the board. Ms. Doi will officially be appointed as a board member subject to an Extraordinary Shareholders Meeting resolution in early 2021.
Ms. Doi states “I am honored to serve on Gojo’s Board as an independent director. My first touch point with microfinance banking was in 2010. I made a contribution to the capital of a fledgling microfinance bank, which was focused on unbanked women and farmers in India." Ms. Doi brings extensive practical experience in law, global business ethics, and international compliance. She is expected to facilitate the process of instilling and safeguarding Gojo’s mission, vision, and core values within Gojo’s group companies, including by:
Facilitating learning on ethics & compliance best practices among Gojo’s group companies, and
Helping Gojo’s board better manage integrity/misconduct risks with high standards of corporate governance in the international arena.
Gojo is working to establish an optimal group governance system through implementation of more advanced internal control systems and enhancement of compliance. Ms. Doi’s appointment as independent director is expected to further accelerate the strengthening of internal audit and corporate governance that will enable the sustainable growth of Gojo Group.
Prior to Yamaha, Ms. Doi held senior legal positions with major global financial institutions. At one point, she managed 200+ staff around the world, with business experience in North and South America, Asia and Europe. During her tenure as a global ethics officer, Prudential Financial received Ethisphere’s designation as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for the first time in 2015, and multiple times thereafter.
Ms. Doi has an undergraduate degree in Philosophy, from Washington University in St. Louis, graduating Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa. She earned her Juris Doctorate from UCLA School of Law. She is married to her law school sweetheart and has lived in Japan since 1994.
Recovery from impact of COVID-19 and acceleration of growth initiatives
The immediate health impact of COVID-19 on our clients and employees and on our group companies’ operations remains low, even though the microfinance sector has had to adapt to lockdowns in an increased number of the areas where we operate. We are complying with government regulations for COVID-19 in all the affected countries and communicating with our clients very closely. As lockdowns have gradually been lifted in all areas, collection efficiency has broadly improved to the pre-COVID-19 level across four operating countries. New loan disbursement has been cautiously resumed and liquidity of the group companies continues to remain strong. The microfinance sector, whose end-clients are engaged in essential businesses such as agriculture, rearing livestock, and neighborhood grocery services, has shown resilience over the past two decades.
We will accelerate the implementation of non-touch-based technology by promoting cashless operations and expanding loan automation for SMEs to microfinance clients, in order to be ahead of the curve once the macro environment recovers. As an example, Satya MicroCapital, our group company in India, has substantially strengthened digitalization of its operations, including cashless disbursement and collections utilizing fingerprint and mobile payments, called “SatyaPay.” Gojo’s technology team is also working on expanding our own Digital Field Application (DFA) which has been first implemented in MAXIMA, our group company in Cambodia. These initiatives will be optimized and deployed across the group companies.
We will continue to pursue digital transformation of traditional microfinance services while achieving the best possible combination of technology and human touch. Keeping a client-centric approach, we will continue to provide more convenient financial services to our clients in Asia, Africa, and the rest of the world.
Comments from existing investors:
Masahisa Aoki, Director and Senior Executive Officer, General Manager, Co-Creative Investment Department, President and Director, D2C & Co. Inc.
MARUI GROUP, Co., LTD.
"Gojo is an irreplaceable partner for us to achieve cross-border financial inclusion, which MARUI GROUP aims to achieve by 2050. Our beliefs in Gojo have remained unchanged since our first investment in June 2019 but it grows stronger through exponential business growth, persistent efforts under the impact of COVID-19 and strengthening of the team. We made an additional investment to build a stronger partnership from the perspective of “Co-creation”. We have strong empathy with Gojo’s mission “to extend financial inclusion to everyone”. We would like to realize financial inclusion through a combination of the passion of the team and financial technology."
Kazuyuki Shigemoto, Executive Officer / Chief General Manager, Investment
The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited
“We made an additional investment in Gojo as an “Impact Investment” to aim both earning investment income and creating social impact with having sympathy with Taejun Shin, CEO, and his vision “to create the Private Sector World Bank”. Since our last investment, Gojo has achieved steady growth. We expect Gojo to continue contributing to the improvement of people’s Quality of Lives by expanding financial access in developing countries.”
Kentaro Obata, Managing Executive Officer
ASTMAX Fund Management Co., Ltd. as the General Partner of TUS (Tokyo University of Science) Capital Ⅰ L.P.
“ASTMAX manages a university-originated venture capital fund mainly invested by the Tokyo University of Science as we aim to increase our asset value through the investment to contribute to our society. We made our first investment in Gojo in August 2019 driven by our sympathy towards Taejun Shin, CEO, and the team’s passion and capabilities to achieve their vision, “A world where everyone can determine their own future.” With continued expectations, we were pleased to make an additional investment in this round.”
Comments from new investors:
Tokuharu Nakamura, Representative Director, President and Chief Executive Officer
RICOH LEASING COMPANY, LTD.
“We are investing and supporting business fields that have a positive impact on social issues, and we are investing as part of this. We expect Gojo’s further growth with maximizing both economic and social values as Gojo to achieve their vision, “A world where everyone can determine their own future.””
Tsuyoshi Ito, CEO / MANAGING PARTNER
Beyond Next Ventures Inc.
“Beyond Next Ventures supports start-ups that strive for transformation of society utilizing technology with vision to create a world in which everyone can challenge. As an entrepreneur who founded the company in a similar financial field around the same time, I strongly empathize with Gojo’s grand vision “to create the Private Sector World Bank” and respect Taejun Shin, CEO who is making it happen in the world. We believe that his vision will materialize in the near future devising Gojo’s technology and group strategy.”
Ryu Muramatsu, Director, Founding Partner
GMO VenturePartners, Inc.
“An attempt called Gojo, an attempt to empower microfinance through scale. Moreover, Gojo’s essence as “a global social experiment from Japan,” solving poverty and revolutionizing peoples’ lives by delivering the greatest mobility of capital in human history to people around the world who really need but marginalized by utilizing the power of Japan’s capital markets and financial technology. As GMO Global Fintech Fund, our goal is to connect Fintech in Japan and the world. We are honored to participate in such an attempt as GMO Global Fintech Fund.”
About Gojo & Company
Gojo was founded to extend financial inclusion to everyone in the world beginning with the developing countries. Gojo encourages the formalization and growth of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. Our long-term goal is to enable the provision of high-quality affordable financial services for 100+ million unserved and underserved people in 50+ countries by 2030. Six years since our establishment, we work in Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and India with USD 288 million gross loan portfolio, 4,800+ employees, serving more than 600,000 clients.
Successful completion of first-ever fundraising from international institutional investors as Gojo accelerates digital transformation
Gojo & Company, Inc. (“Gojo”) is pleased to announce the successful additional close of its ongoing Series D financing of USD 19 million as of September 14, 2020. Gojo has successfully globalized its investor base by welcoming two international institutional investors as its investors for the first time.
Welcoming international institutional investors with strong expertise in the tech space
TGVest Capital, Baillie Gifford, Future Venture Capital (CVC of East Japan Bank), and several individual investors joined as Gojo investors in this financing round.
TGVest Capital is an Asia-based technology-focused private equity fund specializing in buyout and growth capital investments in companies. Baillie Gifford is an independent investment partnership based in Scotland, UK, with USD 324 billion of assets under management (as at 30 June 2020). Gojo will drive further digital transformation at our group companies’ operations as we gain further confidence in our capabilities through investments from international investors having extensive investment experience in the tech space.
We will continue to work towards the final close of the Series D financing. The newly raised funds will be mainly used for further growth and digitalization of its existing group companies in Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and India apart from future expansion to new markets in Asia and Africa.
Comments from international investors:
TGVest Capital DC Cheng, Chairman "As a growth capital private equity fund, we are always interested in innovative businesses disrupting an industry with tech-enabled applications. Gojo represents a milestone in our quest to strengthen our Asian presence and ESG practice, and a truly remarkable one. Gojo’s mission to extend financial inclusion in less developed countries and its innovative approach to overcome long-existing industry bottlenecks have resonated with us from the beginning. We consider Gojo a pioneer in redefining the microfinance landscape and we believe its unique business model and tremendous growth potential make it an invaluable addition to our portfolio."
Baillie Gifford Praveen Kumar, Investment Manager (Japanese Equities) “As long-term growth investors, we look for fast growing and disruptive young businesses addressing a large growth opportunity and employing a unique or genuinely differentiated business model. Gojo ticks all of these boxes and hence we decided to make an investment. We also like Gojo’s vision of improving financial access across some of the world’s poorest nations through microfinance and other forms of affordable lending. It is quite rare to come across a commercial enterprise like Gojo whose sole raison d'être is the upliftment of the poor and we wish the management team at Gojo all the success in their future endeavours.”
Comments from Taejun Shin, Founder and CEO of Gojo:
“Under the travel restriction due to the impact of COVID-19, we had active discussions with TGVest and Baillie Gifford through a series of video conferences and in-depth due diligence processes. We believe the investments from sophisticated international institutional investors such as TGVest and Baillie Gifford indicates their trust in Gojo and confidence in Gojo’s growth potential. Despite the adverse economic environments, we have made many progress in our services with our technology team. We will keep working to extend financial service to the world.”
Accelerating digital transformation
Syam Nair, having previously worked at Visa and Mastercard in technology and digital leadership positions across the Asia Pacific region, joined as Gojo’s Chief Technology Officer in February to lead group’s digital transformation initiatives and technology team build-out. Gojo initiated digital transformation programs within all group companies to leverage digital technologies and business models enabling us to provide more convenient financial services to our clients.
Gojo launched the pilot of Digital Field Application (“DFA”) which was co-developed with MAXIMA, our group company in Cambodia aiming to accelerate digitalization and also reduce lead time in serving financial products to clients. The entire loan process, from registration to approval, was reduced to 40 minutes from what took days before. Gojo aims to deploy DFA that consists of a brand-new Android application that runs on tablets and sophisticated backend services in the group companies. An R&D team was newly formed to innovate and conceptualize new products for microfinance and their clients. The team is in the product ideation stage for many innovative concepts including digital savings and others.
Impact Measurement and Social Performance Management (SPM)
During the COVID-19 outbreak, Gojo shared SPM practices to be followed by group companies for client protection, such as rescheduling of loans and extending moratoriums on the collection of principal and interest.
Gojo released its first impact report in July, which reviews Gojo’s activities since the establishment. Gojo’s impact measurement team has also been planning the research design and operating model for a financial diaries project, which will give us insight into how clients use loans and manage their money. As a client-centric financial service provider, we strive to deliver better financial products and services to the clients so that we can support their goals.
About Gojo & Company
Gojo was founded to extend financial inclusion to everyone in the world beginning with the developing countries. Gojo encourages the formalization and growth of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. Our long-term goal is to enable the provision of high-quality affordable financial services for 100+ million unserved and underserved people in 50+ countries by 2030. Six years since our establishment, we work in Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and India with USD 260 million gross loan portfolio, 3,400+ employees, serving more than 570,000 clients.
We are excited to announce the launch of our redesigned website!
Gojo has grown significantly over the past three years. We wanted a website that would keep pace with our growth, making it easier for users to learn about what we are doing. In addition to a beautiful new design, our new website includes much more information about our impact, what it's like to work at Gojo, and our approach to enabling financial inclusion.
We welcome any comments or feedback on our website.
About Gojo & Company Gojo was founded to extend financial inclusion to everyone in the world, starting with developing countries. Gojo encourages the formalization and growth of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. Our long-term goal is to enable the provision of high-quality affordable financial services for 100+ million unserved and underserved people in 50+ countries by 2030. Six years since our establishment, we now work in Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and India with 3,400+ employees, serving more than 570,000 clients.
We are excited to announce that Gojo’s first impact report is now available on our website here.
Gojo’s mission is to extend financial inclusion to everyone. To achieve this, we aim to enable provision of high-quality financial services to more than 100 million unserved and underserved people in over 50 countries by 2030.
This report reviews our activities and impact from inception in July 2014 to March 2020 in light of our vision, mission and 2030 goal. In this report, we share key indicators, client stories, our future plans for impact measurement, and a review of our Social Performance Management activities, including social performance audit (SPI4) scores benchmarked against industry averages.
Starting from this year, Gojo will report annually on our impact. In future years, we hope to have even more data to share and to present new rigorous measures of progress towards our 2030 goal. As our CEO Taejun says in the report, “Impact is not at all on the periphery of our business. It is right in the center of everything we do.”
We hope you enjoy our impact report, and we welcome any feedback on it.
About Gojo & Company
Gojo was founded to extend financial inclusion to everyone in the world, starting with developing countries. Gojo encourages the formalization and growth of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. Our long-term goal is to enable the provision of high-quality affordable financial services for 100+ million unserved and underserved people in 50+ countries by 2030. Six years since our establishment, we work in Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and India with 3,400+ employees, serving more than 570,000 clients.
Gojo & Company, Inc. (“Gojo”) is pleased to announce the successful first close of its ongoing Series D financing with USD 22 million in growth capital secured by March 2020. The final close is expected to be announced by July 2020. To be able to raise significant capital in a complicated macro environment marred by COVID-19 is a testament of its unique business model and potential to scale rapidly.
Series D first closing Continuing from the USD 40 million Series C round announced in October 2019, the newly raised funds will be mainly used for further growth of its existing group companies in Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and India apart from future expansion to new markets in Asia and Africa.
Seven Bank, Credit Saison, SBI Group and several individual investors including existing shareholders joined this financing round. Follow-on investment from the existing shareholders shows their confidence in Gojo’s market potential and its operational capabilities, even under the current market turmoil.
Follow-on investment in its Partners Gojo has been continuously injecting fresh equity into its partners. Additionally, Gojo also provides inter-company loans backed by Japanese lenders. In the last quarter, Gojo has invested over USD 15 million in its partners.
Satya MicroCapital: With imminent approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to shore up its ownership in Satya, Gojo has invested USD 5 million with a commitment to invest an additional USD 10 million on the closure of all approval formalities.
Winner of the best MFI Award last year, Satya is one of the most promising microfinance institutions in India, delivering the fastest growth in terms of AUM and the number of borrowers in the industry history in India while maintaining robust credit quality. Since its inception in September 2016, Satya has disbursed microloans totaling over USD 250 million across 380,000 women borrowers as of February 2020.
Aviom India Housing Finance: Earlier in February 2020, Aviom received approval from RBI to allow Gojo to increase its ownership in the Company. As a result of this, Gojo invested an additional USD 3.7 million in Aviom in March 2020. Aviom is an Affordable Housing Finance Company facilitating families in mostly semi-urban areas in realizing their dream of owning their first home. The funds will enable Aviom to create an impact at the grass-root level and generate multiple growth opportunities for everyone, especially with a strong focus on women, thereby promoting gender equality.
Maxima Microfinance: Gojo also strengthened its Cambodia operations through an inter-company loan of USD 5 million to Maxima Microfinance. Maxima will use the funds for micro and individual loans mostly to women borrowers and also for the expansion of its small ticket digital loans through the agent banking model.
Ananya Finance for Inclusive Growth: To consolidate its ownership and support the Company’s ongoing expansion plans, Gojo further invested USD 1.55 million in Ananya. Ananya is a wholesale lender to small and mid-sized microfinance institutions in India apart from lending to agri-companies and impact enterprises.
Impact of COVID-19 on business Similar to the global situation, the spread of the new coronavirus is beginning to affect our businesses as well. Much of our businesses have seen a freeze in new disbursements and slowdown in collections. As a group, Gojo places the highest priority on the safety of clients and employees. Thus we took immediate actions such as conducting remote-working style and extending some moratorium to our borrowers without additional interest payments and penalties. Apart from this, as described above, the capital infusion in our partner companies have given them enough liquidity to battle through this period of global crisis.
Building a world-class diversified team We have been working on strengthening the team. New members who have expertise in the areas of technology, finance, internal audit, and social impact measurement have joined Gojo. These members come with diverse and multi-faceted experience in countries like India, Singapore, Italy, China, Myanmar and Japan.
About Gojo & Company Gojo was founded to extend financial inclusion to everyone in the world beginning with the developing countries. Gojo encourages the formalization and growth of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. Our long-term goal is to enable the provision of high-quality affordable financial services for 100+ million unserved and underserved people in 50+ countries by 2030. Five and half years since our establishment, we work in Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and India with 3,400+ employees, serving more than 570,000 women who are also mothers.
Gojo & Company, Inc. (“Gojo”) is pleased to announce that Gojo has successfully agreed on the USD 9 Mn loan agreement with Credit Saison Co., Ltd. (“Credit Saison”)
Gojo & Company, through its seven group companies based in Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and India, operates financial businesses that contribute to financial inclusion, one of the top global issues. Gojo will finance the raised funds to the group companies as inter-company loans.
Purpose of the Loan The Group companies that will receive the inter-company loans will use the funds for micro-loans to micro, small and medium enterprises. More than 95% of the borrowers are women entrepreneurs who mainly use the loans for working capital or capital investment in their micro, small, and medium businesses.
Lenders for Microfinance Institutions in Emerging Markets Microfinance institutions are some of the major borrowers from commercial banks in emerging markets. Other notable lenders are impact investment funds and non-profit organizations based in Europe and other developed countries, who provide loans to microfinance institutions to achieve economic and social impact. On the other hand, most Japanese financial institutions have not yet entered this sector due to concerns on its information gap.
Gojo’s role for Japanese Financial Institutions Gojo will play the role of a bridge between Japanese financial institutions and microfinance institutions in emerging countries, enabling Japanese financial institutions to reduce screening and monitoring costs.
Gojo is well aware of the market environment in each country, and has a system in place to provide additional value to lenders not only in the form of financial return, but also of market information. With Credit Saison, Gojo will explore not only loan agreements but also the possibility of business collaboration.
Expanding the Network of Japanese Lenders Five and a half years have passed since Gojo’s inception. Group companies have continued their stable growth while recording profits for several years. Gojo aims to expand the borrowers’ networks by leveraging growth funds from Japanese financial institutions as well as more than 50 lenders from various countries. Gojo will continue to grow its number of borrowers to achieve the long-term goal of delivering affordable and high-quality financial services to more than 100 million people in 50 countries by 2030.
About us Gojo was founded to extend financial inclusion to everyone in the world beginning with the developing countries. Gojo encourages the formalization and growth of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. Our long-term goal is to enable the provision of high-quality affordable financial services for 100+ million unserved and underserved people in 50+ countries by 2030. 5 years since our establishment, we work in Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and India with 3,000+ employees, serving more than 500,000 women who are also mothers. The total loan portfolio reached approximately $300 million including off-balanced receivables, and since 2017 the company has made a profit on a consolidated basis.
Gojo & Company has committed to invest USD 10 Mn in supply chain financing platform, Loan Frame. The investment in Loan Frame will be instrumental in increasing access to working capital for small businesses as it will be deployed for further developing technology, increasing the number of corporate partners, adding more banks as lenders on its platform, making acquisitions and starting its own NBFC.
Loan Frame’s proprietary and flexible technology platform enables short term and flexible credit to distributors, dealers and retailers associated with mid to large sized corporates. The company primarily focuses on distribution finance where it enables 7-90 day pay-as-you-use working capital products. Distribution finance gives small businesses credit primarily for purchasing inventory whilst helping corporates to better manage their receivables.
Loan Frame uses proprietary scoring and risk assessment algorithms to process both traditional and alternate data to assess borrower creditworthiness, and plans to invest further in artificial intelligence and machine learning to assess customers better and faster. The company has automated all major workflows to enable same day loan disbursals.
Loan Frame which is on track to achieve approximately USD 100mn of disbursals by this fiscal year, recently won in the Fintech category at the prestigious Financial Express India’s Best Banks Awards.
“In India you have over 63 million MSMEs and credit penetration is circa 10%. The investment will enable us further invest in developing innovative short term technology-enabled unsecured working capital products that fill critical financing gaps for small businesses. We are very excited to partner with a long term oriented investor such as Gojo & Company who are deeply passionate about the democratization of financial access.” said Shailesh Jacob, Founder & CEO of Loan Frame.
Speaking on the investment, Sanjay Gandhi, Co-founder, and Chief Investment Officer, Gojo & Company, Inc. said that “It gives us great pleasure to have Loan Frame as our Fintech partner. With immense potential in the MSME lending space, we believe Loan Frame is the right fit for our thesis of promoting financial access for the “missing middle”. We invested in Loan Frame because of their strong leadership team, differentiating technology, and their vision to leverage it to unlock working capital financing to small businesses that have been neglected by traditional players. We envision Loan Frame as a long term partner in promoting Gojo’s quest for providing financial inclusion for everyone, not only in the Indian markets but all across Gojo’s global endeavours.”
Unitus Capital was the exclusive financial advisor and Vertices Partners was Loan Frame’s legal counsel on this transaction while Anoma Legal advised Gojo & Company, Inc.
About Loan Frame: Loan Frame is a supply chain finance platform that is changing the way how small businesses get access to working capital finance. Loan Frame merges world-class processes with deep Indian MSME credit experience and cutting edge proprietary technologies to create innovative lending products, superior underwriting and a differentiated customer experience.
About Gojo Gojo was founded to extend financial inclusion to everyone in the world beginning with the developing countries. Gojo encourages the formalization and growth of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. Gojo’s investment in Loan Frame is also in alignment with our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, especially SDG 8- Decent Work and Economic Growth. Our long-term goal is to enable provision of high-quality affordable financial services for 100+ million unserved and underserved people in 50+ countries by 2030. 5 years since our establishment, we work in India, Cambodia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka with 2,700+ employees, serving more than 500,000 women who are also mothers. The total loan portfolio reached $250 million, and since 2017 the company has made a profit on a consolidated basis.
Gojo & Company, Inc (CEO: Taejun Shin; Head Office: Shibuya-ku, Tokyo) is happy to announce that Mr. Kohei Katada, former Senior Vice President of SmartNews, Inc. has joined us as our Chief Financial Officer.
Over the 5 years since its establishment, Gojo group has expanded to 6 Partner companies in 4 countries; Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and India, with approximately 2,500 employees and more than 450,000 clients. Mr. Katada, leveraging his experience in corporate finance and administration, shall accelerate the growth of Gojo to achieve its long-term goal to:
“Enable provision of high-quality affordable financial services for 100+ million unserved and underserved people in 50+ countries by 2030”
Prior to joining Gojo, Mr. Katada has served as Senior Vice President of Finance at SmartNews, Inc., a developer of a news discovery app and led a total of over US$ 80 million in fundraising and the setting-up of its administration department. Before that, as one of the founding members and as Chief Financial Officer at LIFENET INSURANCE COMPANY, he led the insurer’s successful $100 million Initial Public Offering.
Mr. Katada began his career at Morgan Stanley Japan Ltd. as part of its M&A Advisory Group in the Investment Banking Division. In 2005, he joined Och-Ziff Capital Management, a global hedge fund.
Mr. Katada has a B.A. in Law from the University of Tokyo. While at school, he did an internship at PROSHIKA, a local NGO in Bangladesh where he was inspired by the power of microfinance that can unlock the potential of micro-entrepreneurs.
Gojo extends a warm welcome to Mr. Kohei Katada!
About us Gojo & Company, Inc. was founded in July 2014 with a mission to provide financial inclusion to everyone in the world as a Private Sector World Bank. It aims to provide low-cost, high-quality financial services to 100 million people in 50 countries by 2030. For the last five years since its inception, it has acquired and/or founded microfinance institutions in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and India and employs over 2,500 serving more than 450,000 people. The total loan amount under the management has exceeded US$ 200,000; the consolidated net profit has turned positive since FY2017.
Gojo & Company, Inc completed its Series C funding round and raised US$ 40 million.
Gojo & Company, Inc (CEO: Taejun Shin; Head Office: Shibuya-ku, Tokyo) completed the Series C financing at the end of September, raised a total amount of US$ 40 million. The cumulative paid-in capital reached US$ 70 million.
About Series C The lead investor of this series was the existing shareholder Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co., Ltd; DIMENSION, Izawa Investments Co., Ltd; and SBI Investment Co., Ltd. 15th Rock Ventures have joined as new shareholders at the final close held at the end of September.
The proceeds will be used to accelerate investment in technology to revamp the subsidiaries’ operational system and expand Gojo & Co’s investment in Asia.
Why Gojo & Co. was founded Gojo & Co. aspires to provide low-cost, high-quality financial services in emerging countries around the world. Microfinance, which emerged in the 1970s, attracted a great deal of attention in 2006 when Grameen Bank’s Muhammad Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize. Microfinance has received a lot of attention from capital markets, and several microfinance institutions have listed on the stock markets. Nevertheless, fundamental issues still remain in the industry. To address the problem, Gojo & Co. was founded in July 2014.
Achievements so far Since its inception, Gojo & Co’s asset under the management has grown rapidly at compound annual growth rate of more than 200%, while it has maintained exceptional quality in its loan portfolio (the delinquency rate of 30 days or more is less than 1%). Consolidated quarterly sales for 2019 were US$ 10 million, the number of borrowers was 450,000 and the number of employees exceeded 2,500.
Future expansion plans Gojo & Co has been expanding its business through a greenfield investment or acquisition. In the next few years, it will focus on Asia, including the Philippines and Indonesia, followed by Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America as a long-term goal.
Equity and debt financing Gojo & Co has raised its capital mainly from Japanese individuals and institutional investors, while it has obtained debt financing at each subsidiary level. Gojo & Co and its affiliates cultivated the diversified debt funding ecosystem with more than 50 lenders, including local banks, international microfinance lenders and social impact funds. The total debt has reached US$150 million.
About the team Gojo & Co has been tirelessly building a strong team to accelerate global expansion. In the last year, it has recruited in the areas of management support, investments and new business development. Five new employees will join the team by January 2020.
Establishing a pole position with big data in emerging countries Gojo & Co collects repayment histories, KYC data and household information from 450,000 borrowers. Taking advantage of having a customer database of low to middle-income groups in emerging countries, Gojo & Co is developing a credit scoring system based on machine learning.
Initiatives for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) All of Gojo & Co’s group companies are in the process of being certified for the Social Performance Management (SPM) international certification. Maxima, a group company in Cambodia, was the first to obtain the certification in 2019. To realise the SDGs, Gojo & Co has actively been engaged in various areas of SDGs through microfinance business and partnered with international NGOs.
We are hiring and looking for team members who want to collaboratively achieve the goal of being a Private Sector World Bank. Gojo & Co aspires to create a world where everyone can determine their own destiny. Financial access is a major factor of the equality of opportunity. If you are interested, please contact us at email@example.com.
About Gojo & Company, Inc Gojo & Co was founded in July 2014 with a mission to deliver financial access to the world as a Private Sector World Bank. It aims to provide low-cost, high-quality financial services to 100 million people in 50 countries by 2030. For the last five years since its inception, it has acquired or founded microfinance institutions in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and India and has employed over 2,500 and served more than 450,000 people. The total loan amount under the management has exceeded US$ 200,000; the consolidated net profit has turned positive since FY017.
Gojo & Company, Inc. Vision: A world where everyone can determine their own destiny Mission: Deliver financial access to people around the world as a Private Sector World Bank Headquarters: Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Comments from equity investors:
Kazuyuki Shigemoto, Executive Officer/ Chief General Manager, Investment Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co., Ltd. We invested in Gojo & Company as an ‘impact investment’ aiming to achieve both an investment return and social impact. We hope that by providing financial access in emerging countries through the microfinance business, we will contribute to the economic independence of local people and the improvement of living standards.
Yuichi Katayori / Hisanori Takata, Managing Partner Tokyo University of Science Innovation Capital Co., Ltd. We will support for Gojo & Company to realize social innovation. We hope to create sustainable social and economic value by improving financial access using the latest technology and improve living standards in emerging countries.
Hirotsugu Katoh, Director, Managing Executive Officer MARUI GROUP CO., LTD. We were pleased to participate in Gojo’s series C equity fundraising; we were touched by Gojo’s mission statement of ‘Financial Access for All’. It is an ambitious goal; it is great to see how Gojo has transformed its passion into steady progress.
Yasuaki Funatake, President and Representative Director Seven Bank Ltd. We have been inspired by Gojo & Company’s mission statement of ‘Delivering financial access to people around the world’. Financial inclusion is one of the major agendas among Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which we follow. We believe that the Seven Bank’s overseas business strategy is compatible with Gojo’s business model. We also aim to create a world where one is left behind.
Jun Tosabayashi, Partner TransLink Capital Partners (SOMPO) I, L.P. Under its mission statement of becoming the Private Sector World Bank, Gojo & Company has been growing rapidly. It is exciting to see that talented and experienced professionals have recently joined Gojo and building a strong team under the robust leadership of CEO, Taejun Shin. We could say that Gojo is the most promising start-up company in Japan.
Mikio Hataeda, Director General Private Sector Partnership and Finance Department Japan International Cooperation Agency (‘JICA”) Financial inclusion is one of the major agendas in development finance. We resonate with Gojo’s mission statement of ‘We aspire to create a world in which everyone has an opportunity to overcome one’s destiny and attain a better life’ and support its microfinance business as a means to realise its vision. We hope that Gojo keeps on its approach of ‘the clients first’.
Takamitsu Miyaso, Chief Executive Officer DIMENSION, Inc. Gojo & Company is one of the most outstanding start-up companies that I, as a venture capitalist, have ever invested for the last two decades. Taejun Shin, CEO, and his team’s passion and ability to make it happen are eminent. It is also nice to see that its group companies and their clients appreciate Gojo’s management support. We look forward to seeing Gojo & Company penetrating further in Asia.
Masato Tanaka, General Manager Investment Department SBI AI&Blockchain Investment LPS We have decided to invest in Gojo as it is a rare company which has succeeded in pursuing both social impact and profitability. The number of its clients is expanding exponentially; in future we expect Gojo to focus more on quality over quantity by bringing better financial products and services to the poor population. The SBI Group will continue to foster Gojo by providing its FinTech expertise and financing.
Shoichiro Kusumoto, Executive officer Investment Department General Manager AIZAWA Investments Co.,Ltd We firmly believe that Gojo & Company will change the world. It has a passion and capacity to advance towards its goal of being the Private Sector World Bank by 2030. It is great to see that Gojo & Company and its affiliates always put their clients first.
Takeshi Minamoto, Founder / General Partners 15th Rock Ventures Fund 1 L.P Taejun Shin, CEO, once told me the source of his motivation, ‘I want to create a world where everyone has an opportunity to build a better life no matter of his/her background.’ That was a striking remark and remained deep in my mind. Some years have passed since the conversation; great people joined his team, and his dream is forming a shape. We keep supporting Gojo until it reaches its goal, then the world finally becomes a better place.
Hiroyuki Kuwazono, Director Senior Managing Nippon Venture Capital Co., Ltd. Over the past two years, we have observed that bright, dedicated professionals joined the team one after another, and Gojo & Company has achieved tremendous growth. We warmly welcome JICA as a signature shareholder and hope JICA’s support will be a prominent driving force to realize Gojo’s grand vision.
Tetsuya Adachi, President NISSAY CAPITAL CO.,LTD. We could see Taejun Shin, CEO as a driving force, and his humanitarian virtue has attracted teams, investors, and group companies. We hope that Gojo & Company, led by microfinance technology, to realize its goal of financial inclusion.
Shunichi Ono, Director, Chief Financial Officer Link and Motivation Inc We have been inspired by Taejun Shin, CEO’s vision (to create a world in which everyone has an opportunity to overcome one’s destiny and attain a better life), and his management philosophy. To make Gojo’s vision to be realised, we will continue to support Gojo though our expertise in human relations as well as equity investment.
Shozo Isaka, Partner JAFCO Co., Ltd. Although Gojo & Company has an ambitious goal, taking care of each customer matters the most for them. We see this as essence of finance.