Top 10 Banking services startups in Japan
Top 10 Banking services startups in Japan

Japan’s banking system is very efficient, the Japanese financial services sector, although dominated by 3 mega banks: Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMBC), Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) and Mizuho Financial Group is home to many banking services startups as well. These startups aim to provide all the basic functions of a bank, which are, making payments, transferring money, giving credit, managing assets, etc. but with the combination of technology to provide cheaper solutions to its users.

Let’s have a look at the TOP 10 Banking services startups in Japan:

1. PayPay

Founding Year: 2018

Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan

Funding received: US$ 440.2M

Investors: SoftBank

PayPay is an online payment app, launched by Paytm (a popular Indian payments app), in partnership with SoftBank and Yahoo Japan. Users can download PayPay’s mobile app and link their bank account for seamless transactions. The app can be used at more than 2.6 million locations across Japan, including convenience stores, drug stores, and restaurants. 

2. Kyash

Founder: Shinichi Takatori

Founding Year: 2015

Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan

Funding received: US$ 68.9M

Investors: Partech, SMBC Venture Capital, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, JAFCO Japan, Altos Ventures, Greenspring Associates, ITOCHU Corporation, Tekton Ventures, Goodwater Capital, Shinsei Corporate Investment Limited amd 17 other investors.

Kyash is a financial technology platform that provides mobile banking services. It offers a prepaid-debit based mobile wallet app that enables users to make payments at Visa merchants and peer-to-peer transfers as well.

Kyash’s goal is to build a “new money culture” where people’s values ​​and thoughts can be easily delivered while staying close to their lifestyles.

3. DeCurret

Founders: Izumi Yamamotoa and Watai Akihisa

Founding Year: 2018

Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan

Funding received: US$ 59.3M

Investors: KDDI, Toppan Printing, Chubu Electric Power, Sumitomo Life Insurance Company, Internet Initiative Japan, Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co., Konami, Hankyu Hanshin, Matsui Securities, Daido LifeInsurance, Energia Communications, SOHGO SECURITY SERVICES

DeCurret, also known as the “bank of digital currencies”, provides a mobile application for users to perform cryptocurrency exchange and payments. It offers authorized currency deposit, cryptocurrency exchange & trading, virtual currency money transfer and many more services through its platform.

4. H.I.F

Founders: Mitsuteru Higashi Kozono

Founding Year: 2017

Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan

Funding received: US$ 52.6M

Investors: Aozora Bank Ltd., H.I.S, GMO Aozora Net Bank, eGuarantee

H.I.F or HIS Impact Finance is a BaaS (banking-as-a-service) startup that has developed an inter-company settlement service called “Fimple settlement” that guarantees accounts receivables. Account receivable is the payment that a company will receive from its customers who have purchased its goods & services on credit. Additionally, the startup has also obtained permission for a bank agency business, with GMO Aozora Net Bank as its affiliated bank, and also plans to open Japan’s first neo-bank “Fimple Bank”.

Through these BaaS platforms, HIF aims to build a society in which the necessary funds are provided to corporations and individuals timely.

5. Moneytree

Founders: Jonathan Epstein, Mark Makdad, Paul Chapman and Ross Sharrott

Founding Year: 2012

Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan

Funding received: US$ 23.6M

Investors: Salesforce Ventures, SMBC Venture Capital, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, Mizuho Capital, Global Brain Corporation, SBI Investment, Morgan Stanley, Baillie Gifford, DG Ventures, Mastercard and 10 other investors.

Moneytree is a financial data collection platform that provides a personal finance app and a cloud-based accounting service. It offers Moneytree®︎, a personal finance management service that helps individuals check all of their financial data such as savings, loans, credit cards, loyalty points, superannuation and shares, from different providers, in one place. It has over 1,300,000 users.

It also provides Moneytree LINK®︎, a financial data platform providing advanced account aggregation technology combined with cloud technologies to effortlessly connect multiple systems. This service is used by over 20 enterprises including Japan’s two largest accounting software vendors, Mizuho Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and other multiple regional banks in Japan.

6. Coiney

Founders: Naoko Samata, Shinnosuke Io and Yusuke Sato

Founding Year: 2012

Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan

Funding received: US$ 14.9M

Investors: Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, CyberAgent Capital, SBI Investment, Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, Japan Finance Corporation, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Venture Capital, Dentsu Digital Holdings, Credit Saison, Seibu Shinkin Bank

Coiney provides smartphone-based credit card processing services in Japan. The Coiney Engine uses artificial intelligence to offer an evaluation of business enterprises based on the collection of payments history and various statistical data from the Coiney Terminal (smartphone-based payments solution for real stores), and Coiney Payge services (web-based payments solution for online transactions). It is used to check the credibility of a company when they apply for business loans from banks that are partners of Coiney.

7. iBank Marketing

Founder: Kenichi Nagayoshi

Founding Year: 2016

Headquarters: Fukuoka, Japan

Funding received: US$ 2.1M

Investors: Nanto Bank, JCB, Hiroshima Bank, Sompo Himawari Life Insurance

iBank Marketing is a financial services app that tailors to its customers’ unique lifestyles and needs. Its wallet+ PFM (personal finance management) platform aims to give banks a tool to help their clients create and achieve their short-term financial goals.

8. Credit Engine

Founders: Seiichiro Uchiyama

Founding Year: 2016

Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan

Funding received: US$ 1.6M

Investors: 500 Startups, DNX Ventures, 500 Startups Japan, Freebit Investment, VOYAGE GROUP

Credit Engine is an online lending platform for financial institutions that was established as a spin-out from LENDY, the balance-sheet online lending service for SMBs. Credit Engine’s online lending platform enables financial institutions to launch a lending service of their own brand with a sophisticated user interface and efficient operational processes.

The platform is used by top-tier Japanese banks including Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Shinsei Bank Group and Mizuho Financial Group.

9. WhatzMoney

Founders: Hitoshi Maeda

Founding Year: 2015

Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan

Funding received: US$ 1.1M

Investors: D4V- Design for Ventures, SV FRONTIER, VOYAGE GROUP, Genuine Startups, Slogan, Hitotoki Incubator

WhatzMoney helps compare a financial institution’s home loan rates with others across Japan, enabling users to find the most affordable financial product easily. Its other services include WhatzMoney Media: a mortgage information site that provides beneficial information about mortgages clearly, and Home Re:loan: a service that supports the increase in order rate and sales of member stores by reviewing the customer’s mortgage and using the obtained difference for renovation and installation of solar power generation.

10. Bank Invoice

CEO: Taro Teshima

Founding Year: 2015

Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan

Funding received: US$ 0.71M

Investors: Fundinno

Bank Invoice is a banking services startup that aims to connect you with clients around the world. It digitizes original invoices and enables users to send and receive them just like e-mail. Since Bank Invoice integrates every transaction with a client, the accounting workload gets significantly reduced. Users can automate their finance operations instantly and easily with Bank Invoice.

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