After US expansion, Japanese business card management service Sansan enters Singapore


Sansan, the Tokyo-based contact sharing service that uses at least two actual human beings to transcribe each business card, launched in Singapore this morning. The announcement comes on the heels of a push into the US – its first overseas market – back in May.

In just over two months, the company has attracted 300 corporate users (including both free and premium) in the US – a number that the company says is “rapidly increasing.” Sansan CEO Chika Terada tells Tech in Asia that his goal is to secure 100 paying corporate customers within three months, though he declined to specify how many of those 300 users are currently paying for the service. The decision to enter Singapore was motivated by both positive feedback from American clients and a warm reception to its July beta release.

“Launching in the US market was an essential component to Sansan’s international strategy, and has served as a beachhead to further international expansion,” says Terada. “We decided to release the service in Singapore after hearing great demand from the ASEAN region. The ASEAN market is very important for us because it’s one of the world’s fastest-growing economic regions.”

Terada wouldn’t speculate on the company’s next target for expansion, but did say that Sansan plans to set up shop in Indonesia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, India, Australia, and other countries where English is spoken.

“We choose the region depending on the users’ inquiries,” he adds. “We plan to provide our service worldwide sooner or later.”

Sansan landed US$14 million in series B funding, led by Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm DCM, in May – prior to its US launch. The company serves more than 2,000 premium corporate clients in Japan. Sansan’s core service, which allows users to scan business cards with their smartphones or rent high-output business card scanners (for an additional monthly fee), is supplemented by a mobile app for individuals called Eight.

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