Japanese mobile wallet Kyash closes $14m Series B, supporting its goal of creating a cashless society

Japanese mobile wallet Kyash has raised JPY 1.5bn ($14m) in its Series B round led by tech-focused venture firm Goodwater Capital.

Other investors included Mitsubishi UFJ Capital and Tokyo-based companies including Toppan Printing, JAFCO, Shinsei Corporate Investment and SMBC Venture Capital. The batch of funding brings Kyash’s total equity raised to $26m.

Japan’s Ministry of Economy has launched a new rebate project for consumers that use cashless payments for which Kyash has been named as the payment’s provider for the new initiative. This new program will commence on October 1 2019 and is part of the government’s goal of increasing cashless payments to 40 percent by 2025.

The country lags behind others in the region in terms of cashless payments, with only 20 per cent of transactions being cashless. This is compared to South Korea which has a 90 per cent split and China which is 60 per cent, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Cashless Vision report.

Kyash is a digital wallet platform which empowers consumers to connect a Visa card to their smartphone to conduct payments. When using the mobile payment system, users receive 2 per cent rewards.

Through the platform, users receive notifications on all payments to improve finance monitoring, as well as send and receive money from friends, easing bill splitting.

Goodwater Capital managing partner Eric Kim said, “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.

“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.”

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