Stripe officially launches in Japan as new investor comes on board

Payments firm founded by Patrick and John Collison valued at $5bn continues to expand

Stripe, the payments firm established by Limerick brothers Patrick and John Collison in 2009, has officially opened for business in Japan and said the country's largest credit card provider had come on board as an investor.

The San Francisco-based company offers payment processing services for online and mobile transactions. It supports credit card payments in more than 130 different currencies, bank transfers, bitcoin and Alipay.

Stripe, whose platform has been available in beta version in Japan since May 2015, has been working with a number of companies to ready its service for the local market, including All Nippon Airways, the country's largest airline, event registration start-up Peatix and translation company Gengo.

"When we started our beta in Japan last year, we saw an opportunity for our product to make a difference for local entrepreneurs: there is a growing local start-up ecosystem, an appetite to build new types of businesses, such as SaaS companies and marketplaces, and an increasing interest from Japanese companies to expand beyond the local market and go global," said Daniel Heffernan, who heads up Stripe in Japan.


“Every business in Japan can now sign up for Stripe and take advantage of the complete Stripe stack. Many core Stripe features – instant set-up, support for 130 plus currencies, the ability to build marketplaces, fast and frequent transfers and more – have not been available in the Japanese market before.”

Forefront of technology

Stripe also confirmed that

Sumitomo Mitsui

Card Company had taken a stake in the company, although financial details were not disclosed. The company is a subsidiary of the Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Japan’s second largest bank by market value with assets of about $1.8 trillion (€1.6 trillion).

Stripe’s move into Japan comes just two weeks after the company officially launched in Singapore, as it seeks to gain traction in southeast Asia.

"For several decades Japanese businesses have been at the forefront of technology, but the number of companies who have developed globally is limited to a small few," said Stripe chief executive Patrick Collison.

“Stripe’s objective is to become the bridge which will enable more Japanese companies to export their creativity and business to the world.”

The company, whose backers include Sequoia Capital and PayPal founders Peter Thiel and Elon Musk, is valued at $5 billion, based on a fundraising round last year. Stripe employs 523 people globally.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist