Japan Digest: Paidy raises $15m Series B; Abeja secures $5m funding

Visual from company website

In two latest funding deals in Japan, tech startups Paidy and Abeja raised $15 million and $5 million respectively in separate Series B rounds.

Paidy raises $15m in Series B round

Paidy, an online payment service of Exchange Corp (ExCo) in Japan, has raised $15 million in a Series B round led by Eight Road Ventures Japan and two Softbank spin-offs, SBI Holdings Inc and SBI Investment’s fintech fund.

Paidy founder Russell Cummer said it was the largest funding round for a foreigner founder in Japan, surpassing the $12 million that Robert Laing and Matthew Romaine got for crowd-sourced translation service Gengo in 2013.

General trading company Itochu and existing investors Arbor Ventures and SIG Asia also participated in the Series B round for Paidy’s parent firm ExCo, bringing its total funding to $25.8 million.

Paidy is a developer of a cardless, real-time payment network in Japan whose goal is to aggregate the most popular non-credit card payments into a single, real-time, 100 per cent guaranteed payment network available to all qualifying consumers.

The fintech firm, in its business model, combines big data streaming and machine learning with risk analysis. Paidy intends to use the funds to include more e-commerce sites and expand into digital goods as well as add monthly billing linked to a bank account later this year.

The payment service is now reportedly available at 600,000 online stores in Japan. It counts Adidas and Dean & Deluca among its merchants.

ExCo posted on its website that Paidy covers over 100 million Japanese consumers for real-time online payments. With a few more investments, Paidy is seen to join the ranks of Japan’s top funded startups.

Also Read: India’s pre-owned bike platform CredR raises $15m from Eight Roads Ventures

Abeja gets $5m in Series B

Tokyo-based Abeja, a developer of an artificial intelligence platform that enables retail firms to learn more about their customers’ buying habits and interests, has raised about $5 million in a series B round from Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) and Archetype Ventures.

The deal follows Abeja’s six-digit series A funding from Salesforce Ventures.

Founded in September of 2012, Abeja offers solutions for retail stores to improve customer path or traffic based on image analysis and machine learning technologies.

Ken Yasunaga, managing director of Strategic Investment Group at INCJ, was invited by Abeja to its management board as it expects Archetype to support business development for B2B (business-to-business) and B2B2C (business to business to consumer) verticals.

After its graduation from the first batch of the Orange Fab Asia acceleration programme, Abeja has raised an undisclosed sum of funding from Keisuke Tomimatsu in an angel round.

During its seed round, Abeja was backed by Archetype, Inspire, Mitsbishi UFJ Capital, Mizuho Capital, NTT Docomo Ventures and Sakura Internet.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.