SoftBank Ventures Asia backs Korean payments technology firm CHAI in $60M Series B round

Funding Round Led by Hanwha Investment & Securities to Fuel Global Expansion of Fintech-as-a-Service Platform

Seoul, South Korea, December 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — CHAI, one of Korea’s fastest growing payment technology companies, today announced a $60 million Series B funding round led by Korean conglomerate Hanwha Investment & Securities, with participation from SoftBank Ventures Asia, SK Networks, Aarden Partners, Hashed and other strategic partners. This round follows a $15 million Series A of February 2020which makes the total investment in CHAI $75 million.

With the global digital payments market forecast to reach 10 trillion dollars by 2026, this round of funding sets up CHAI to meet the growing demand for businesses to move online. CHAI offers the easiest and most efficient way for online businesses to start accepting payments through its B2B I’mport service. I’mport tackles the fragmented payments market by providing a single, unified API that allows e-commerce businesses to choose from a comprehensive set of over 20 different payment options, ranging from credit cards, digital wallets and bank transfers. Hailed as the simplest and most highly programmable solution by developers, I’mport currently serves over 2,200 merchants, including global brands such as Nike Korea and Philip Morris Korea.

CHAI also operates an e-wallet and debit card business, which has rapidly gained 2.5 million users since its launch in June 2019. More recently, CHAI launched a fun rewards platform for the CHAI card, where users earn “bolts” to unlock instant cash back on popular brands. By adding game-like features and social elements, CHAI has digitized the plastic card experience, driving traffic to its platform while maintaining the convenience of a plastic card that consumers are accustomed to.

“As the digital payments market in Asia becomes increasingly fragmented and sales-driven, we believe a technology-driven approach will be key to capturing the market. That’s why we’ve created developer-centric and scalable solutions for businesses to streamline payments,” said Daniel Shin, CEO of CHAI. “We also designed an online rewards platform for the CHAI card, creating a more dynamic customer experience that goes beyond the convenience of a plastic card. We are excited to continue driving innovation with the support of experienced investors such as Hanwha and SoftBank Ventures Asia. “

SeungYoung Ohdirector of Hanwha Investment & Securities, said, “i’mport has reduced what once took e-commerce businesses weeks to a simple copy-and-paste task, dramatically reducing costs. This is a one-of-a-kind business model. in Korea, and I am confident that CHAI will continue to make this service an essential infrastructure of the global fintech landscape. »

CEO and Managing Partner of SoftBank Ventures Asia, JP Lee, added, “We have seen CHAI’s tremendous growth and strong leadership in this market since its inception. As more and more attention is drawn to the Fintech-as-a-service market, we have no doubt that CHAI will make a significant mark in Asia and beyond. We are excited to support CHAI as they begin to scale into various new markets.”

About CHAI

CHAI helps businesses grow by offering the most efficient solution for online payments. Its B2B I’mport service offers a unified API, which allows thousands of innovative online businesses to instantly offer more than 20 different payment options, including credit cards, e-wallets and bank transfers. CHAI also operates a digital wallet and card business, gaining 2.5 million users since its launch in June 2019. Investors include Hanwha Investment & Securities, SoftBank Ventures Asia, SK Networks, Stonebridge Ventures, Company K Partners and Korea Investment Partners. For more information, visit

About SoftBank Ventures Asia

Founded in 2000, SoftBank Ventures Asia is the early-stage venture capital arm of the SoftBank Group. Our expertise lies in ICT investments including AI, IoT and smart robotics. We seek out early-stage or growth-stage startups that have strong business potential in the global market and help connect them to the SoftBank ecosystem by facilitating side-by-side growth. SoftBank Ventures Asia is currently operating $1.1 billion under management, investing in innovative technology startups around the world.

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