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Japanese QR Code gateway Netstars raises $60 million

Japanese QR Code gateway Netstars raises $60 million

Netstars, the operator of Japan’s largest QR code payment gateway, has completed a $60 million funding round amid plans for international expansion.

The round, which was made through a combination of a capital infusion and the allotment of new shares, includes a $40 million investment made from funds managed by KKR.

Headquartered in Tokyo, the company operates StarPay, a digital gateway for efficient point-of-sale processing for consumers across multiple payment apps. To date, StarPay is used by more than 280,000 merchants across Japan and has aggregated 37 payment providers onto its platform, including PayPay, LINE Pay, AliPay, WeChat Pay, and VIA.

Netstars is benfitting from a resurgence of interest in QR codes as a touch-free means of payment during the pandemic.

Eiji Yatagawa, partner at KKR, comments: "Netstars is well-positioned to advance businesses’ digital transformation and their shift from offline to online, which has become increasingly important during the Covid-19 period. KKR looks forward...to support Netstars’ business growth in Japan and overseas and support its preparations that may culminate in an IPO.”

The company says it will use the funding to expand StarPay’s network to include more stores that accept QR settlements in Japan and introduce a mini-app development platform for merchants. The company has also set its sights on expanding internationally "in cooperation with overseas financial institutions".

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