Investments

Japan-Based Challenger Bank Kyash Notches $14M To Expand

Investments

To continue its growth, FinTech firm Kyash has reportedly notched $14 million in funding. The investment was co-led by Mitsubishi UFJ Capital and Goodwater Capital, which has backed FinTech upstarts such as Stash, Toss in Korea and Monzo, according to reports.

Shinichi Takatori, a former management consultant and banker, started the company in 2015. “I really noticed that information and communication has become ubiquitous but money itself hasn’t changed for a long time,” Takatori said, according to reports.

While the company isn’t a bank, it is in the process of applying for many licenses in Japan that could enable it to offer features in the style of banking such as money remittance, ATM withdrawals and checking accounts. As of now, the company is a payment app that offers a Visa card connected in the style of N26, Revolut and Monzo, among other similar firms.

It took two years before the company rolled out a consumer product. The firm, however, tied with Visa to offer a debit card that is prepaid and connects to the company’s app. It offers benefits such as lower fees for international spending and instant payment notifications. At the same time, it was noted that merchants instead of users bear the costs. Takatori also noted per reports that the company is “in discussions” with crypto firms, but it is said to have not yet decided on how to move. In addition, the company is looking at potential expansions abroad, but those are said to be some time in the future.

In separate news, Monzo reached a valuation of $1.3 billion per reports last year. The mobile bank reportedly said in October that it raised 85 million pounds. As a result, it now has a valuation of over $1 billion. The fundraising round was led by General Catalyst and Accel Partners. Existing investors Goodwater, Passion Capital, Orange Digital Ventures, Thrive Capital and Stripe also participated.

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