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 info@gojo.co.

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

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

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

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.