Tokyo-based TakeMe, a
cross-border payment startup, has raised $1.8 million in funding as Japan opens up for international tourism. The round was
led by Taiwan-based New Economy Ventures, as well as individual investors.
Founded in 2015, TakeMe provides restaurant-reservation service between foreign tourists and Japan’s restaurants. By connecting with online travel agencies and traffic platforms such as Klook, KKday, Meituan, Fliggy, Ctrip and Tripadvisor, TakeMe says it has linked millions of foreign tourists with more than 400 restaurants across Japan.
“Since COVID-19 hit the world, TakeMe has also gone through
ups and downs,” says Ory Rusli, the company’s head of Southeast Asia. “Thankfully
we survived and, together with [all of] Japan, we are ready to welcome global
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In 2019 TakeMe launched TakeMe Pay, which aggregates more
than 100 payment brands from around the world – including WeChat Pay, Alipay,
PayPay, LINE Pay, Merpay and GrabPay – into one QR code. TakeMe Pay has enabled
more than 10,000 merchants in Japan to accept global mobile payment methods,
helping them to attract foreign customers, according to the company.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, TakeMe launched TakeMe Order, a
restaurant-ordering management system that supports contactless ordering.
TakeMe Order has been implemented in more than 50 business categories, according
to the company.
TakeMe, formerly known as Japan Foodie, was founded
by Lu Dong, who grew up in China, spent 18 years in Japan and earned an MBA
from Stanford University in the United States.
Ethan Tsai, managing partner at New Economy Ventures, says
the venture capital firm invests in “seasoned entrepreneurs who can take
advantage of cross-border opportunities and create high-growth businesses in
Tsai says he has known Dong for more than 10 years, since
Dong founded a couple of e-commerce companies in China. Tsai says TakeMe is
uniquely positioned to be the bridge between Japan’s merchants and traffic
platforms around the world.
“We believe TakeMe’s services are valuable and essential for
both Japan’s merchants and international tourists,” says Tsai. “We look forward
to supporting TakeMe’s growth in Japan and overseas.”
Japanese hospitality proptech startup Wayfarer raised
$1 million in April toward its mission to become the “Amazon Web Services
Hear from JetBlue Technology Ventures,
Thayer Ventures and others at The Phocuswright Conference 2022 in November