Japanese QR code payment gateway provider Netstars Co. has completed a $60 million (6.6 billion yen) funding round, the company announced Wednesday (April 14).
This round came about through a combination of a capital infusion and the allotment of new shares, and includes $40 million in investment from funds managed by KKR, the global investment firm, Netstars said in its announcement.
Based in Tokyo, Netstars is a payments aggregator that operates StarPay, which integrates multiple payment providers into a single device or software platform, for multi-app point-of-sale processing. Netstars says this service is used by more than 280,000 merchants in Japan and has aggregated 37 providers into the platform, including PayPay, AliPay and WeChat Pay.
Netstars says it will use the funding to attract more StarPay customers and expand the StarPay network to encompass more stores that accept QR payments in Japan. Netstars is looking to enhance its services, including a new StarPay mini-app enhancement. The company is also looking to expand its offerings overseas.
This news comes as mobile payments are experiencing a wave of popularity in Japan. As reported in this space last year, the market research company eMarketer predicted last September that the number of shoppers making mobile point-of-sale purchases would reach 24 million by the end of the year, a figure that represents a fifth of Japan’s population and a 26 percent increase from the previous year.
The same research speculated that mobile payment users would rise to 28 million — or 25 percent of people in Japan — by 2023.
It’s not just Japan rediscovering QR codes. With people looking for ways to make touchless payments thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, QR codes are enjoying a resurgence.
But not everyone is adopting them at the same pace. The PYMNTS Deep Dive from February delves into the varying QR code adoption rates from around the world.