Payment Solution CHAI Raises $45 Milllion in Round Led by SoftBank Ventures Asia and B Capital.

CHAI, a digital wallet and payment service provider including credit cards, e-wallets, and wire transfers, has raised $45 million in a Series B+ funding round led by SoftBank Ventures Asia (SBVA) and B Capital.

Other investors participating in the round include KT Investment, Conductive Ventures, Nordstar Capital, Samsung NEXT, and B Capital.

CHAI states that it will use the funding to expand its footprint in Southeast Asia and develop a fully automated end-to-end payment infrastructure for digital merchants throughout Asia.

CHAI says the payment landscape remains highly fragmented yet it is expected to top USD$ 1 trillion by 2o30. CHAI seeks to bridge the payments gap in Asian markets by providing a unified payment solution for local merchants through a single application programming interface (API).

CHAI Port currently offers over 30 payment options for merchants completing transfers in under an hour.

Daniel Shin, Chief Executive Officer of CHAI, said that Southeast Asia represented some of the biggest opportunities in digital payments:

“With the COVID pandemic making accepting digital payments a necessity, we want to empower both global and local merchants to rapidly expand into new markets and reach billions of global consumers respectively. This new funding is a testament to our success in markets such as Korea and Vietnam, and we are excited to establish ourselves as the staple digital payments infrastructure of Asia.”

JP Lee, CEO of SoftBank Ventures Asia, said they are excited to partner with CHAI as they grow in Korea and expand across Aisa.

“We believe that the CHAI Port solution truly solves crucial pain points for online retailers and is a needed orchestrator in the digital merchant ecosystem.”

CHAI reports that it currently processes more than USD $6 billion for over 2,200 merchants. Most recently, CHAI launched CHAI Port in Vietnam and Thailand and has begun supporting local leading brands such as Saigon Coop (grocer) and SoBanHang (e-commerce enabler for SMEs).

Additionally, CHAI also operates an e-wallet in South Korea that connects to a gamified rewards platform for over 3 million users to unlock instant cashback at popular brands.

Hans Morris, Managing Partner at Nyca Partners, said that while e-commerce is global the local settlement is the last mile and historically is a risk for merchants:

“While hard to do, Chai has built an integrated payments solution in Korea, and we believe they have the necessary technology and expertise to expand into Vietnam and other SE Asian markets. Their strategy to become one of the leading regional payments companies is compelling and very exciting.”

This is SBVA’s second Series B investment into CHAI.

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