There has been a lot of buzz here in the US about a new email service, Hey.com started by Jason Fried and the team behind Basecamp. I’m a big fan of Hey.com, it’s a whole new way of looking at email and I was able to snag ml(at)hey.com which I’m also pretty happy about.
What I didn’t know is that in Japan, there’s also a startup called Hey, branding on Hey.jp and they just raised a $66M Series E round.
I first learned about Hey.jp and the new funding round from Angel Investor/Serial Entrepreneur Braden Pollock. As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, while we tend to be very .COM-focused here in the US, in Japan .CO.JP and .JP are all the rage.
The $60M Series E round consisted of a lot of very well-known US investment firms like Bain Capital (who led the round), Pay Pal Ventures, Goldman Sachs and more.
If you go to the Hey.jp website, you’ll find a beautifully designed site – honestly I love the UX, it’s clean, simple, and does a great job of using whitespace to create a sense of balance.
As for what Hey.jp does – the company is a leading online payment and e-commerce platform that makes it easy for companies to launch online stores and accept cashless payment. Essentially you can think of the company as Shopify and Square combined, and focused on the Japanese market.
Alongside the new funding also comes the announcement that Hey.jp will be acquiring Coubic, a platform that makes it easy for people to book things like yoga classes online in Japan. For those who didn’t know, Japan is the third largest economy in the world so there’s a lot of money behind any service or solution that targets the Japanese market. Darren Abrahamson, the MD of Bain Capital had this to say about the company:
“Yusuke and his talented team are at the forefront of developing integrated mPOS and e-commerce solutions that enable Japanese merchants to engage with and sell to consumers across the country, even those using legacy payment methods. Their innovative technology creates a ‘one stop shop’ that drives a more efficient, friendly and cost-effective shopping experience, we are excited to partner with hey to help drive the next phase of growth in existing and complementary markets, which kicks off with the exciting acquisition of Coubic.”(Source – PR Newswire)
Congrats to the teams at both Hey.jp and Coubic – exciting times!