CUSTOMER CENTRIC

PAIDY RAISES $55 MILLION: Japan-based startup Paidy, which allows customers to make online purchases without having to enter card information, just concluded a $55 million funding round led by Japanese trade conglomerate ITOCHU Corporation, with support from Goldman Sachs. The startup allows its 1.4 million active Japanese users to confirm payments through a PIN sent to their phone or through voice, uses machine learning algorithms to “float” the money to cover the transactions to merchants, and then bills customers for their total transactions on a monthly basis. Paidy will likely use this most recent round of funding to accelerate growth since it hopes to reach 11 million active users by 2020. And the timing could be right for success — Japanese card penetration is high, but usage is low, so online customers prefer to pay in cash at the time of delivery. This leads to incomplete shipments and delayed payments, which Paidy could help solve by tapping into a market of reluctant card users who desire a simpler option for e-commerce.

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