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Sansan Lands VC For Business Networking Solution

Japan-based business card management service Sansan has announced news of fresh venture capital in support of its solution which helps professionals with business information management and networking.

An announcement Monday (Aug. 7) revealed Sansan raised $38 million in Series D funding for its business card management platform, Eight, a cloud-based solution enabling access to and exchange of accurate information found on business cards. The platform provides messaging, information exchange, personal profiles and other services for professional networking.

New Sansan backer venture capital provider Future Creation Fund was joined by early stage VC firm DCM Ventures and cloud computing company Salesforce in the Series D funding round, according to news reports. Earlier this year, Salesforce announced a $100 million fund to invest in early-stage businesses.

Sansan said it would use the venture capital funds to expand across Asia with its sights set on India, while also working to introduce new business information management software services for professionals and corporate clients.

Specifically, Sansan plans to roll out an English version of the Eight platform in September of this year. Eight is a social network service designed to help business professionals digitize, manage and share the contact information which would normally be found on physical business cards. The service launched in Japan in 2012.

The company also said the $38 million raised is its largest funding round to date, bringing its total raised to $76 million with approximately 40 percent of funding coming from backers outside of Japan.

While not a social media network, Sansan does promote connectivity between businesses and professionals. A 2014 study from best practice insights and technology company CEB found small businesses may not be using social media enough to interact with business partners. Study researchers described the B2B marketing potential of social media as an “untapped gold mine.”

“It generates tremendous amounts of data that marketers should leverage to create new business opportunities and significantly improve sales performance,” said Jonathan Dietrich, CEB senior director of marketing for the Small Business Leadership Council, in a statement.

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