SoftBank Ventures Asia backs Korea’s payment technology company CHAI in $60 Million Series B

Round led by Hanwha Investment & Securities to fuel global expansion of Fintech-as-a-Service platform

SEOUL, South Korea, Dec. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — CHAI, one of the fastest growing payment technology companies in Korea, announced today a $60 million Series B financing 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 from February 2020, making the total investment in CHAI $75 million.

SoftBank Ventures Asia backs Korea’s payment technology company CHAI in $60 Million Series B
SoftBank Ventures Asia backs Korea’s payment technology company CHAI in $60 Million Series B

With the global digital payments market forecast to reach $10 trillion by 2026, this round of funding sets up CHAI to meet the rising demand for businesses to move online. CHAI offers the easiest and most efficient way for online businesses to start accepting payments through its B2B service I’mport. I’mport tackles the fragmented payments market by providing a single, unified API that enables e-commerce businesses to choose from a comprehensive set of over 20 different payment options, ranging from credit cards, digital wallets and wire transfer. Hailed as the simplest and 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 quickly gained 2.5 million users since launching in June 2019. Most recently, CHAI launched a gamified rewards platform for the CHAI Card, where users earn ‘bolts’ to unlock instant cashback at popular brands. By adding game-like features and social elements, CHAI has digitized the plastic card experience, driving traffic to its platform while keeping the convenience of a plastic card consumers have become accustomed to.

"As Asia’s digital payments market becomes more fragmented and sales-driven, we believe that a technology-first approach will be key to winning 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 vibrant customer experience that goes beyond the convenience of a plastic card. We are excited to continue to drive innovation with support from experienced investors such as Hanwha and SoftBank Ventures Asia."

SeungYoung Oh, Director from Hanwha Investment & Securities shared, "I’mport has reduced what once took e-commerce businesses weeks to complete into a simple copy-and-paste task, radically reducing costs. It’s a first-of-its-kind business model in Korea, and I have no doubt that CHAI will continue to grow this service into an essential infrastructure of the global fintech landscape."

SoftBank Ventures Asia’s CEO and Managing Partner JP Lee added, "We’ve been watching CHAI’s tremendous growth and strong leadership in this market from the beginning. 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 start to scale across different new markets."

About CHAI

CHAI helps businesses grow by offering the most efficient solution to online payments. Its B2B service I’mport offers a unified API, which allows thousands of innovative online businesses to instantly offer over 20 different payment options, including credit cards, e-wallets, and wire transfer. CHAI also operates a digital wallet and card business, gaining 2.5 million users since launching 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 look for early to growth-stage startups that have strong business potential in the global market and assist them to be plugged into the SoftBank ecosystem by facilitating side-by-side growth. SoftBank Ventures Asia currently operates $1.1B under management, investing in innovative technology startups across the world.


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