ITOCHU Announces Strategic Partnership with Crowdport, Inc. Which Operates “Funds,” a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform

August 30, 2019

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Yoshihisa Suzuki, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that ITOCHU has invested in and become a strategic business partner with Crowdport, Inc. (headquartered in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; Yuichiro Fujita, President & Representative Director; hereinafter “Crowdport”). Crowdport operates “Funds,” a P2P lending platform, connecting individual investors who wish to manage their assets with companies that wish to borrow operating funds.

With the arrival of the era of the 100-year life, there have been growing individual needs for asset management. The ratio of risk-weighted investment portfolios such as equity investment trusts to individual financial assets worth some 1,800 trillion yen has risen to around 20%, and the asset management market is expected to expand further going forward. Of the total, the annual issuance of domestic companies’ corporate bonds for individual investors remains at approximately 1.5 trillion yen*1. The corporate bond ratio in the funding method remains low compared to overseas, and the expansion potential is expected to increase in the future.

“Funds” is a platform that connects individual investors (lenders) who wish to manage their assets online to companies that want to borrow operating funds (borrowers). Lenders are able to invest in small-lot middle risk/middle return-type financial products similar to corporate bonds through “Funds” amid insufficient opportunities for investing in corporate bonds. “Funds” commenced its service in January 2019, and the number of individual investors registered has been growing rapidly. Against the background of the needs for asset management, “Funds” enables online fund-raising on an unprecedented scale and provides companies with a new means of funding.

ITOCHU has signed an agreement on customer referrals with the aim of jointly developing business and has become Crowdport’s first strategic business partner. Going forward, ITOCHU will support the enhancement of individual investors, and at the same time it will refer Crowdport’s services to companies that are in demand for funding by making use of the network of the ITOCHU Corporation Group. In addition, ITOCHU will consider joint structuring and sales of a variety of financial products with Crowdport by using the expertise in the financial business that ITOCHU has accumulated to date and pursue the contribution to the vitalization of the asset management market.

ITOCHU includes “Reinvented Business” in the medium-term management plan “Brand-new Deal 2020” and is committed to the evolution of business models. With Pocket Card Co., Ltd., ITOCHU’s consolidated subsidiary, at its core in the financial field as well, ITOCHU is aiming to expand its financial services and take on a new banking function through its collaborations with fintech/venture companies. Going forward, ITOCHU is determined to expand the financial business at ITOCHU further by combining the ITOCHU network, which has strength in the consumer-related sector, with banking functions and services.

  • *1Source: Nomura Institute of Capital Markets Research

Outline of Crowdport

Company Name Crowdport, Inc.
Established November 2016
Headquarters Kamon Building 5th Floor, 6-11, Shibuya 2-chome, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Representative Yuichiro Fujita
Business Operation of “Funds,” a P2P lending platform