Demand for contactless funds and e-commerce has grown in South Korea in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is sweet information for fee service operators, however the market may be very fragmented, so including fee choices is a time-consuming course of for a lot of retailers. CHAI needs to repair this with an API that allows corporations to simply accept over 20 fee programs. The Seoul-based startup introduced right now it has raised a $60 million Series B.
The spherical was led by Hanhwa Investment & Securities, with participation from ComfortableBank Ventures Asia (the early-stage enterprise capital arm of ComfortableBank Group), SK Networks, Aarden Partners and different strategic companions. It brings CHAI’s complete funding to $75 million, together with a $15 million Series A in February.
Last month, the Bank of Korea, South Korea’s central financial institution, launched a report exhibiting that ()contactless funds elevated 17% year-over-year because the begin of COVID-19.
CHAI serves e-commerce corporations with an API referred to as I’mport, that enables them to simply accept funds from over twenty choices, together with debit and bank cards by native fee gateways, digital wallets, wire transfers, provider billings and PayPal. It is now utilized by 2,200 retailers, together with Nike Korea and Philip Morris Korea.
CHAI chief government officer Daniel Shin instructed TechCrunch that companies would normally need to combine every type of on-line fee sort individually, so I’mport saves its shoppers a variety of time.
The firm additionally provides its personal digital pockets and debit card referred to as the CHAI Card, which launched in June 2019 and now has 2.5 million customers, a small quantity in contrast South Korea’s main digital wallets, which embody Samsung Pay, Naver Pay, Kakao Pay and Toss.
“CHAI is a late comer to Korea’s digital funds market, however we noticed a singular alternative to supply worth,” stated Shin. The CHAI Card provides retailers a decrease transaction price than different playing cards and customers usually examine its app about 20 occasions to see new cashback provides and different rewards based mostly on how typically they pay with their playing cards or digital pockets.
“We’ve digitized the plastic card expertise, and this is step one in the direction of creating a strong on-line rewards platform,” Shin added.
In press assertion, Hanhwa Investment & Securities director SeungYoung Oh director stated, “I’mport has decreased what as soon as took e-commerce companies weeks to finish right into a easy copy-and-paste activity, radically decreasing prices. It is a first-of-its-kind enterprise mannequin in Korea, and I’ve little doubt that CHAI will proceed to develop this service into an important infrastructure of the worldwide fintech panorama.”