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.