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Jack Dorsey’s Block Makes First Asian Investment In Japanese Fintech Startup Kyash’s $41.2 Million Series D Financing Round

Japanese fintech company Kyash has raised $41.2 million, the equivalent of 4.9 billion Japanese Yen, in its Series D funding round from investors – Japan Post Investment Corporation, Greyhound Capital, SMBC Nikko Securities, Altos Ventures, StepStone Group, Goodwater Capital, JAFCO Group, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Capital and notably Jack Dorsey’s Block known formerly as Square. The investment in Kyash, is Block’s maiden investment in an Asian-based company, according to reports like Nikkei.

Following the latest round, the total funding raised by the Japanese fintech company runs into an approximated $107.7 million (12.8 billion Japanese yen), since it started out in 2015.

Kyash offers a mobile banking platform via its app, enabling online and offline payments, remittances and ATM withdrawal services. The company takes its services to the next level by also providing virtual and pre-paid debit cards. Kyash was founded in 2015 by Shinichi Takatori who is also its Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Shinichi Takatori has experience from years of working in the banking and consulting industry. According to him, the company is focusing only on its direct channel business after leaving its card-issuing platform to infcurion last year. The company runs on two licenses – its fund transfer license which it acquired in 2017 and its prepaid debit cards license which it acquired in 2020. Both of these licenses are important requirements to operate financial services in Japan.

Currently, Kyash’s focus is on the Japanese retail market and the Japanese economy happens to be the world’s third-largest economy. According to its CEO, Kyash may consider expanding beyond the Japanese market.

Speaking on the company’s achievements and without providing exact numbers (e.g., number of users), Kyash’s CEO said that “We have achieved unit economics positive already, which is a very positive factor for investors to consider investment.”

“We will continue to expand our business by creating new alliances and increasing collaborations and garner further trust from our customers,” Takatori added.

Speaking on Kyash’s round, Takuma Baba, managing director of Japan Post Investment Corporation said that “Challenger Bank is a core them in fintech and unbundling of traditional banking has become an irreversible trend globally. We believe Kyash’s user-first and mobile-first philosophy and product architecture will allow it to evolve into a key platform upon rebundling the financial services with technology.” 

Atsushi Fujii, partner at JAFCO also said that “JAFCO made the first investment in Kyash before the service was launched, and this round marks its fifth investment. We believe that the company will take a further leap forward and become a leader in the next generation of finance.”

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