Japanese business card management app Eight forays into HR and Ad Tech fields

From left: Kenji Shiomi (MD and co-founder of Sansan), Hiroshi Senju (Chief Producer of Eight Dept., Sansan)

See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Sansan, the company offering cloud-based business card management platforms, announced on Thursday that a major update will be given to its app Eight, implementing the “company page” which displays user company content receivable on the feeds of Eight. Company users having their own pages will be allowed to place ads or recruiting information to targeted users based on their business card profiles on Eight. The next version of the Eight app having this function is planned for launch in late June, and will be available for desktop, iOS and Android from June 28th at the earliest.

Eight is the business card management app for individuals officially launched in 2012. The app is provided in the freemium model; users can use basic functions for free except for data export function and so on. The number of users surpassed the million mark in 2015, while Sansan added functions such as feed (similar to timeline) or group message in order to promote communications between users. The current number of users has exceeded 1.5 million.

The business card data registered by users is linked with company information on Eight. Based on the linked information, users can create their company pages via desktop. For company users, for example, recruitment staffs can send invitation messages directly to potential employees (Eight Talent Solution) or marketing staffers can put ads on the Eight Feed timeline (Eight Ads). Since the registered company data on Eight is also linked with database of Teikoku Databank, a Japanese corporate credit research company, Eight proposes the optimal targets for sending message or ad by analyzing registered data and business card information utilizing AI (artificial intelligence).

At the press conference held in Tokyo on Thursday, Kenji Shiomi (Managing Director / co-founder of Sansan) and Hiroshi Senju (Chief Producer of Eight Dept, Sansan) made comments. Both Eight Talent Solution and Eight Ads will be provided as paid services but the charge system is undecided at this moment. According to Shiomi, the price range will probably be much the same as conventional services. Regarding the additional functions including the “company page”, about 10 Japanese companies including Nissan Motor (TSE:7201), Okamura (TSE:7994), CyberAgent (TSE:4751), Cybozu (TSE:4776) and Lancers had expressed their intention to use these functions as soon as it is launched.

The launch of additional functions for Eight this time can also be viewed as Sansan the CRM (customer relationship management) startup having advanced into HRTech (Human Resource Tech) and AdTech fields. In contrast, another Japanese HRTech startup Wantedly had advanced into the CRM field with its app Wantedly People last November.

Translated by Taijiro Takeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy