whatA Tokyo-based mobile finance app has raised $41.2 million (4.9 billion yen) in Series D funding.
The round comes from a range of investors including Japan Post Investment Corporation, Block (formerly known as Square), Greyhound Capital, SMBC Nikko Securities, Altos Ventures, Goodwater Capital, Stepstone Group, JAFCO Group, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Capital and others.
According to the Nikkei report, this is the block’s first investment in a company in Asia. Series D brings Kayash’s total funding since its inception in 2015 to around $107.7 million (12.8 billion yen).
Kysh CEO Shinichi Takatori told gaming-updates that the startup will use the latter’s proceeds to double its workforce and drive product development.
Kayash, founded by Takatori, who previously worked in banking and consulting, offers a mobile banking application that allows consumers to provide online and offline payment, transfer and cash withdrawal services. In addition, Visa card issuers offer flexibility by issuing virtual and physical prepaid debit cards. In an interview with gaming-updates, Takatori said that when asked about his B2B business, Kayash set the stage for issuing his white label card last year to foray and be fully focused on the channel’s business.
Takatori said Kyash is currently targeting the Japanese retail market, the world’s third largest economy, adding that he may consider expanding overseas in the medium to long term. The company received two licenses from the government to provide financial services in Japan — a prepaid debit card license in 2020 and a money transfer license in 2017.
“We have already had a positive impact on the unit economy, which is a very positive factor for investors who may consider investing,” Takatori said.
As social distancing is enforced around the world during the COVID pandemic, cashless payments have become the norm. Accordingly, the pandemic has affected the growth rates of global challenger banks. based report Kyash also rose about 22% from January to May 2020, according to Fincog, as did other competitors, Robinhood and Starling Bank. (Kyash also raised $45 million in Series C in March 2020 during the pandemic.)
“Challenger Bank is a big fintech business and the unbundling of traditional banking services has become an irreversible trend around the world,” said Takuma Baba, general manager of Japan Post Investment Corporation. “We are confident that Kyash’s user-centered, mobility-centric philosophy and product architecture will enable it to grow into an important platform as financial services are reimagined through technology.”
“JAFCO made its first investment in Kyash prior to the launch of the service, and this round will be the fifth investment,” said Atsushi Fujii, partner at JAFCO. “We are confident that the company will take it one step further and become a leader in the next generation of finance.”
“We will continue to expand our business by building new alliances and collaborations and earning the trust of our customers,” Takatori said.