Yoshiyuki Oba

Yoshiyuki Oba is an SME-focused fintech angel investor.

Yoshiyuki Oba Yoshi is a SME-focused fintech angel, accelerator and evangelist, who has 30 years of experience both in SME financial architecture and SME strategic & financial advisor in frontier/emerging markets. He is currently a partner & accredited business angel at REDangels, a Portugal-based angel investors’ group. 

Yoshi holds an Executive MBA from Aalto University, formerly known as Helsinki School of Economics, as well as certificates of Fintech programme at University of Oxford Said Business School and AI program at MIT Sloan School of Management.


Early life Yoshi was born on August 31, 1967 in Japan. He grew up in Niigata prefecture and studied laws at Niigata University. When he graduated from university, he thought that he wanted to be a truly reliable backer to SMEs like his father managing a small construction company. This has been his abiding mission during his professional career. 

SME financial architect and frontier/emerging markets

In 1990, Yoshi started his career at Japan Finance Corporation (JFC) Kobe Branch as a SME loan officer in Amagasaki city, which is one of the most famous cities for SME manufacturers’ cluster in Japan. Then, he spent over a decade both at JFC and Tokyo Small and Medium Business Investment & Consultation Co., Ltd. (SBIC) as an Asia business strategic advisor as well as a loan/investment officer. During his working at JFC, he was appointed to Economic Researcher at the Embassy of Japan in Vietnam for 2 years in 1996-98. 

Yoshi is the Founder & former Managing Director at Crossborder Japan Co., Ltd., based in Tokyo and Singapore, where he assisted Japanese SME clients in developing global strategies and implementing them in Asia. 

He was also Visiting Research Fellow at Waseda University’s Vietnam Research Institute in 2007-19. Prior to this, Yoshi was Chief Consultant at Mitsubishi UFJ Research & Consulting Co., Ltd. (MURC), a Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ-owned research firm based in Tokyo. 

Since he joined MURC in 2001, he has conducted international assistance projects (30+ projects in 15 countries) sponsored by such agencies as Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and World Bank. In 2008 – 2018, he was also Senior Consultant at Japan Economic Research Institute (JERI). Examples of his assigned position include; Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia (CGC Malaysia) JICA Advisor; Vietnam’s Credit Information Center (CIC) World Bank Consultant; Indonesia Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs (EKUIN) MSME Financial Inclusion Advisor; Myanma Agricultural Development Bank (MADB) Head of JICA Consulting Team; Myanma Economic Bank (MEB) Head of SME Development Fund Advisory Team; etc. 

Turning point toward fintech accelerator space 

In 2017-18, Yoshi learned global trends of fintech at University of Oxford Said Business School and the applications of AI for business at MIT Sloan School of Management, where he got breakthrough insights and valuable connections with fintech and AI-related global communities. Currently, as an angel investor &/or advisor, Yoshi is experienced in fintech accelerator space by leveraging his 30 years of experience in SME financial architecture in frontier/emerging markets. His portfolio fintech startups are located globally in London, New York, Dubai and Tallinn. He is also a partner & accredited business angel at REDangels, a Portugal-based angel investors’ group.


Yoshi’s vison is to enhance an ultimately user-friendly SME banking system described as “Ambient Banking”, where banking becomes ubiquitous and part of SMEs’ day-to-day works and banks leverage a technology landscape enabled by AI, analytics, blockchain, cloud, API and ethical bankers.

Recognition and Awards
During his 30 years career, Yoshi worked for Japan Finance Corporation (JFC), Mitsubishi UFJ Research & Consulting Co., Ltd. (MURC), Tokyo Small and Medium Business Investment & Consultation Co., Ltd. (SBIC), Crossborder Japan Co., Ltd., Japan Economic Research Institute (JERI), Waseda University, etc. He is ranked #30 among US-based thinkers360’s ‘Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on FinTech’ (Nov 2019). Also, as a SME strategic & financial advisor, he is ranked #6 on ‘Business Strategy’ and #16 on ‘Entrepreneurship’ (Nov 2019).

Yoshiyuki Oba
Johore, Malaysia
Angel investor
Bachelor of Laws at Niigata University (Japan), Executive MBA at Aalto University (Finland), Certificate of Fintech programme at University of Oxford Said Business School (UK), Certificate of AI program at MIT Sloan School of Management (US)
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Fri Mar 01 2024

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