Shunsaku Sagami, the founder and CEO of M&A Research Institute Holdings. Photograph:(Twitter)
A Japanese millennial has achieved success by using AI to assist solve an issue in an elderly society.
Since its launch on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in June 2022, M&A Research Institute, a company that uses AI to connect Japanese business owners with successors, has more than tripled its initial price.
The share price has increased by 47% just this year.
Shunsaku Sagami, a 32-year-old entrepreneur who has a 72% share in the business, is valued at $950 million as of May 16 according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The 2018-founded M&A Research Institute seeks to support elderly owners of small and medium-sized businesses who are forced to shut down their businesses because no one is available to take over. The company reported in April that 620,000 lucrative businesses in Japan are in danger of failing due to a lack of successors.
In a recent interview, Sagami told Bloomberg that his grandpa, who was forced to shut down his real estate business in the 1980s when he retired due to a lack of a successor, served as the inspiration for him to create this company, according to the Business Insider.
“In his office, there was a license for real estate agents framed up on the wall,” Sagami told Bloomberg. “Seeing that taken down and thrown away was sad,” he added.
The 160-person M&A Research Institute focuses on companies with annual revenues of up to 500 million Japanese yen ($3.7 million), or 500 million yen.
According to its website, the company can complete M&A agreements utilizing AI and confidential data in 49 days to six months. These transactions frequently take more than a year to complete, according to the Tokyo-based business.
M&A Research Institute does not collect any fees up until the completion of a transaction. For a successful closing, it levies costs up to 5%.
According to the website of the M&A Research Institute, other M&A consultants charge retainer fees in the tens of millions of yen, even if the deal never closes.
In the six months leading up to March 2023, the corporation claimed to have closed 62 agreements, more than doubling the 26 it had done at the same time in the previous year.
Sagami’s business does not begin with the M&A brokerage. He obtained degrees in biology and agriculture from Kobe University, according to Bloomberg, and worked as a designer, software developer, and marketing officer before going it alone.
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He founded the women’s fashion and beauty business Alpaca, which he sold to a Japanese public relations agency in 2017.
According to Bloomberg, Sagami found the deal procedure cumbersome and developed a system with an AI algorithm to speed up the company’s flow.
The stock of M&A Research Institute ended trading on Tuesday at 9,270 Japanese yen, down 0.4%.