Grooves gets US$920K to connect southeast asians


Japanese human resource platform today announced an approximately MYR3.78 million (US$920,000) funding round from PNB-INSPiRE Ethical Fund (PIEF), a sharia-compliant private equity fund in Japan.

Grooves is a human resource platform which aims to connect global talents with job opportunities in Japan.

Founded in 2004, it already has over 15 years of experience in the local market, and has over 5,000 listed Japanese corporations within its platform.

The company aims to use the new funding to support its expansion to Asia, starting with the Malaysian market.

“Malaysia was selected as our headquarters because we saw the potential in terms of its talent pool and we are confident that it would be a good starting point to penetrate the ASEAN market,” said Grooves CEO Yukihiro Ikemi in a press statement.

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“Grooves is not just a one-way bridge for Malaysian talents to penetrate the Japanese job market. The idea here is to have the local talents learn about Japan’s business ecosystem and bring back the knowledge as well as experience to their respective countries. Grooves wants to provide the opportunity for both countries to exchange work culture and skills,” he added.

The platform itself was founded to solve the talent shortage issue that Japan is facing as its population gets older.

Grooves has raised over US$10 million through multiple venture capitals (VC).

Its latest investor PIEF was incorporated in 2015 with a fund size of JPY5.1 million (US$47,000).

The firm was established to facilitate the expansion and introduction of Japanese startups to Islamic and ASEAN countries, as well as to support the expansion of Sharia-compliant businesses.

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Investors in the fund include Organisation for Small & Medium Enterprises and Regional Innvovation, Japan (SMRJ), PNB Equity Resource Corporation Sdn Bhd, Oita Bank Co. Ltd., The Hiroshima Bank Ltd., and Fuyo General Lease Co. Ltd.

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