Japan’s relationship with financial technology has blossomed in 2016. From January this year onwards, search interest in the word “fintech” in Japan has increased, according to Google. Moreover, 2015 saw investments flow into the industry to the tune of around US$99 million. In May this year, the country made some regulatory changes to encourage the growth of its industry. As the government regulates and encourage investment in the fintech sector, the following are top 10 Japan Fintech Companies you should know:
Founded by Katsuaki Sato in 2007, Metaps offers an app monetization platform that uses AI & big data to optimize campaign performance and maximize app revenue. The company was previously the most funded start-up in Japan before going public last year with an initial market capitalization of more than US$350 million. Metaps’ Spike is a new online payment service that allows merchants to process up to US$10,000 of payments every month for free.
Zaim allows users to track their finances by linking bank account, credit cards, and receipts scanned with a camera. The company collects local data on government and insurance programmes to assist users with their tax returns. Zaim’s app is very popular and has been downloaded more than five million times.
AlpacaDB was founded in 2013 by Yuki Hayashi, Yoshi Yokokawa, and Hitoshi Harada. The company is developing Capitalico, a Deep-Learning trading platform, that allow users to build trading algorithms with just a few clicks. The company hopes to address emotional trading by helping traders identify market trends and automate historical data analysis.
Founded by Daisuke Sasaki, Freee wants to improve the potential of small businesses. The company focuses on software that automates back office jobs, particularly those dealing with accounting or those that need a lot of paperwork. Freee is used to send invoices, track expenses, manage national health insurance and payroll, automate bookkeeping related tasks, categorize payment and help businesses do tax paperwork. Since starting in 2013, the company has more than 500,000 registered companies.
- Money Design
Founded in 2013 by Nao Kitazawa, Money Design offers automated advisory and investment management services. Theo, the Money Design’s app, uses artificial intelligence (AI) that was formerly only available to professional investors. With the app, people can invest in 11,900 different stocks and 35 world currencies from 65 countries.
Base is an e-commerce platform developer that was founded by Yuta Tsuruoka in 2012. The company allows any person to host an ecommerce site for free. Base’s online credit card payment system is Pay.jp. Like PayPal, Pay.jp allows users to make purchases with their registered credit card or Pay.jp account.
Founded by Yuzo Kano in 2014, Bitflyer offers the largess bitcoin exchange platform in Japan. The company offers an Application Programming Interface that allows customers to control and access their accounts, using custom written software.
- Money Forward
Money Forward offers online personal accounting for customers, letting them to easily manage their everyday expense. Besides accounting, customers can do payroll, expense reporting, payment collection, send invoices, and see financial projections. Currently, Money Forward serves over 500,000 businesses and 3.5 million individuals.
Founded by Masa Nakatsu and Toshi Senoo two years ago, Orb offers business software PaaS with decentralization technology. Through its decentralized technology, the company enables many economic regions to run their systems minus the support of a central governance model. Through the SDK that the company is developing, any person would be able to produce virtual currencies and use the mesh that blockchain allows to validate transactions.
Moneytree provides a lifestyle app that brings bank, digital money transaction, credit card and balance data to the iPad and iPhone. Unlike other Japanese fintech companies, Moneytree works towards a truly open environment, allowing access to their API so that anybody can use the financial data.