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Japanese e-payment startup Origami adds UnionPay as investor

$60m raised will go toward Chinese and Southeast Asian expansion

Origami is gearing up for a big overseas push with its Origami Pay service. (Photo by Kaede Yoshida)

TOKYO -- Mobile payment company Origami now counts China UnionPay among its investors as the Tokyo-based startup works to build a presence in greater Asia by leveraging the network of the Chinese leader in card payments.

Origami has raised 6.66 billion yen ($59.2 million), it announced Thursday, from parties including UnionPay International, Toyota Finance, SBI Investment, Shinkin Central Bank, and credit card companies JCB and Credit Saison.

The funds were raised through the private placement of newly issued shares, with plans to put the money toward developing and rolling out payment services using QR codes.

By welcoming big financial services companies from Japan and abroad as investors, the company seeks to smooth the way for business expansion.

Founded in 2012, Origami operates the Origami Pay service accepted at about 20,000 locations across Japan, including Lawson convenience stores and Nihon Kotsu taxis. It seeks to take the service to China and Southeast Asia, building on its experience at home.

Origami Pay users pay with their mobile phones by scanning QR codes at participating vendors. Money is deducted from registered bank accounts or credit cards.

The company has raised a total of 8.8 billion yen so far. Other investors include KDDI and SoftBank Group.

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