Japan's Youngest Billionaire:How Shunsaku Sagami is Addressing Japan's Aging Crisis
Discover how Japan's youngest billionaire, Shunsaku Sagami, is using artificial intelligence to revolutionise mergers and acquisitions, saving small and medium-sized enterprises from closure in an aging Japan.
Japan is currently grappling with a significant demographic shift. As of 2023, nearly a third of the country's population is aged 65 or older, a figure projected to rise by 2065. This age-related issue is posing a considerable challenge to the nation's economy as an increasing number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face closure due to aging owners without successors. Over 99% of all companies in Japan are SMEs, and shockingly, about two-thirds of them have no successors, leaving them at high risk of closure.
In the midst of this societal challenge, a young entrepreneur named Shunsaku Sagami has emerged as a beacon of hope. At the age of 32, Sagami is Japan's youngest billionaire and the founder and CEO of M&A Research Institute Holdings, a Tokyo-based mergers and acquisitions (M&A) brokerage. His company specialises in serving the very SMEs that are grappling with succession issues, providing them with a lifeline through facilitating successful M&A transactions.
The M&A Research Institute has distinguished itself from its competitors through its innovative use of artificial intelligence (AI). The company's AI-powered system matches potential buyers with businesses looking to sell. Moreover, its client-friendly pricing system only charges a success fee upon conclusion of a deal, giving it a distinct edge in the marketplace.
Sagami's journey to becoming Japan's youngest billionaire is a story of ingenuity and determination. After graduating from Kobe University, he initially embarked on a career in advertising before founding an IT venture in 2015. Following the sale of this venture, Sagami found inspiration in his personal experiences, including the closure of his grandfather's business due to a lack of successors. These experiences led him to establish the M&A Research Institute in 2018.
The company's success was recognised by the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which listed it on the Growth bourse for startups in June 2022. Since its listing, the company's shares have surged by over 340%, with Sagami's 73% stake in the company now valued at just over $1 billion.
The M&A Research Institute has demonstrated remarkable growth since its inception. By the end of December 2022, the number of M&A advisors in the firm had doubled to 90. The same quarter saw the institute report a net profit of $7.1 million on revenue of $15.7 million. For the fiscal year ending in September 2022, the firm's annual revenue nearly doubled to $28.8 million, while its profit saw a nearly fourfold increase to $9.8 million. As of December 2022, the firm had concluded 33 transactions, with another 426 deals still in progress.
Recognising the needs of his clients, Sagami recently expanded the institute's services to include asset management. This addition was spurred by the inquiries of business owners who, after selling their companies, were looking for opportunities to invest their newfound wealth.
In a country grappling with the challenges of an aging population, Shunsaku Sagami and his M&A Research Institute Holdings are providing innovative solutions that not only save businesses from closure but also contribute to the health of the national economy.