Kyash Raises Funding To Help Bring Japanese Consumers Into The Cashless Era

By Dan Anderson ● July 9, 2019
  • Kyash — the company behind the Kyash wallet app and Kyash Direct payment platform — has raised JPY1.5 billion
  • Including this round, Kyash has raised nearly JPY 2.8 billion.

Kyash — the creators of the Kyash wallet app and payment platform Kyash Direct — recently announced it raised JPY 1.5 billion led by Goodwater Capital. And additional investors include leading Tokyo-based firms and companies like Toppan Printing Co., JAFCO Co., Ltd., Shinsei Corporate Investment Limited and SMBC Venture Capital Co., Ltd. Including this round, Kyash has raised nearly JPY 2.8 billion.

“Kyash has created a platform that will take Japanese consumers into the cashless era and beyond,” said Kyash founder and CEO Shinichi Takatori. “I am delighted that investors both in Japan and abroad have recognized our achievements over these past two years. We believe Goodwater will provide immensely valuable insight as we evolve our platform to provide more financial freedom and flexibility to the people, which will in turn have a positive global impact.”

The funding for Kyash comes at a time where the Japanese government is pushing citizens to move beyond cash. Even though Japan is one of the most technology-savvy countries in the world, only 20% of payments in Japan are cashless — which is behind countries like South Korea (90% cashless), China (60% cashless), and the U.S. (45% cashless), according to Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s “Cashless Vision” report.

“The integration of finance with technology coupled with changes in the regulatory environment in Japan are leading to new conceptualizations of money and financial services for consumers,” added Eric Kim — managing partner at Goodwater Capital. “As Japan’s nearly $3 trillion retail market transitions to a cashless society, fresh approaches like those of Kyash will not only facilitate the move away from notes and coins but also allow greater flexibility in receiving salaries and compensation, among other innovations. We look forward to helping Kyash aggressively scale to reach its potential to fundamentally change financial transactions in Japan.”

Japanese consumers typically prefer to stick to notes and coins and the government seeks to serve foreign visitors who prefer to use credit or debit cards. And the government’s goal is to increase cashless payments to 40% by 2025 through its Cashless Vision initiative. And to this end, the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry will launch a Rebate Project for consumers who use cashless payments starting on October 1st, 2019. Kyash was named a payments provider for the initiative.

Kyash also developed a value transfer platform that has since become the fastest growing issuing and processing technology company to obtain a Visa principal license — which occurred in less than two years since it launched. And it has provided services in partnership with Visa since the launch of the company’s Kyash wallet app in April 2017.