20 March 2023
SJ Mobile Labs raises US$2.85 million seed round for mobile wealth & protection platform aimed at Japanese market
Round led by Saison Capital, supported by Apis Insurtech Fund I & Anthemis Group
COO Yasunori Kume appointed from BNP Paribas Cardif
Advisors include former Lawson Bank President Masashi Yamashita, former Nomura Holdings CFO Shigesuke Kashiwagi, former Global Managing Partner at EY Financial Services, Bob Stein
TOKYO – 16 February, 2022 – Singapore Japan Mobile Labs (SJ Mobile Labs Pte Ltd.) was created by Samantha Ghiotti, Liam McCance and Andre Bose Do Amaral to help Japanese consumers access a trusted mobile financial experience.
The company’s co-founders Samantha Ghiotti and Liam McCance have raised a USD 2.85 million seed round from Japanese and global investors. Since the raise the company has set out to build a team of fintech experts and Japanese finance veterans.
The round was led by Saison Capital, the venture arm of Credit Saison, the financial services firm with over 30 million retail customers in Japan. Apis Insurtech Fund I, managed by Apis Partners LLP, and Anthemis Group, well known global fintech investors, joined the round.
“We are delighted to be backed by a strong Japanese finance brand through Saison Capital and global fintech investors Apis Partners and Anthemis Group,” said Sam Ghiotti, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. “We are now on our way to becoming a trusted presence in Japanese households.”
SJ Mobile Labs has recently appointed Yasunori Kume as Chief Operating Officer, who was previously at BNP Paribas Cardif, and Compliance Officer Koshi Watanabe, previously from Lloyds Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and Chiyoda insurance. Additionally the company has appointed several advisors, including Masashi Yamashita who was previously at Lawson Bank and Shinsei Bank, and Shigesuke Kashiwagi of EQT, previously at Schroders and Nomura Holdings.
“In addition to a great lineup of investors, we have convened a world class advisory board with hands-on expertise in banking, asset management, insurance and technology and made key appointments as we focus on building our bench strength in Japan,” continued Samantha Ghiotti.
“With over USD 18 trillion of zero yielding assets and being ranked world’s second largest insurance market by premium, the Japanese consumer segment represents a huge opportunity for financial technology entrants,” added Liam McCance, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer. “We plan to provide a positive financial experience and appeal to a segment looking for simple products, readily accessible and with radically transparent, genuine, financial advice.”
“The founding team behind SJ Mobile Labs are tried and tested entrepreneurs with a track record for catalysing growth in the fintech and finance sector. The company’s core team intimately understands how to spark growth in Japan and is well positioned to meaningfully impact the market as a whole, which is one the largest for insurance in Asia,” said Chris Sirise, Partner, Saison Capital.
“We are excited to leverage Apis’ global fintech capability to support SJ Mobile Labs in accelerating the democratisation of financial services in Japan,” said Matteo Stefanel, Apis Partners Co-founder and Managing Partner.
“We have full confidence that this team of seasoned serial entrepreneurs will push innovation to a new frontier in Japan’s traditional personal wealth management market,” said Udayan Goyal, Apis Partners Co-founder and Managing Partner.
“The team of entrepreneurs and seasoned financial services operators building SJ Mobile Labs has the support of Anthemis Group as they look to bring innovation to the wealth management market in Japan,” said Sean Park, Co-Founder and Co-Chief Investment Officer at Anthemis Group.
For media related inquired please contact Liam McCance firstname.lastname@example.org
About Saison Capital
Saison Capital is an early-stage venture capital fund (pre-seed to Series B) with a focus on emerging markets. We back ambitious founders solving big problems, focused on embedded finance – non-fintech companies expanding into fintech. Each individual in our team comes from an operating background, and we are unafraid to roll up our sleeves to support our founders. We are backed by Credit Saison, a Tokyo-listed $30b AUM consumer finance company with extensive financial services across Asia.
For more information visit: https://saisoncapital.com
About Apis Partners
Apis Group (“Apis”) is an ESGI-native global private equity and venture capital asset manager that supports growth stage financial services and financial infrastructure businesses by providing them with catalytic growth equity capital. Apis manages or advises on total committed capital from investors (including drawn and invested capital) of U$1.2B. Apis is highly conscious of the developmental impact that the provision of growth capital for financial services and financial infrastructure businesses in growth markets can achieve, and as such, financial inclusion is a core tenet of their approach and investment mandate.
About Anthemis Group
Anthemis Group is a global platform that cultivates change in the financial system by investing in, growing, and sustaining businesses committed to resiliency, transparency, access and equity. Founded in 2010, our deep understanding of markets and models, passion for emerging technology and values inspire everything we do. By creating fertile ground for a diverse group of startups, investors, entrepreneurs, institutions, academics, and visionaries to converge, we believe we can solve the financial systems’ most pressing challenges faster, better and for the benefit of all.