Top shareholders confirm Google acquisition of Japanese fintech Pring

13 Jul 2021

Image: © Nattakorn/Stock.adobe.com

The Japanese payments start-up Pring announced its Google takeover, with initial reports pricing the deal at up to 30bn yen.

In a move to solidify its presence in Japan, Google has reportedly bought out the majority of shares in Japanese fintech company Pring.

Pring operates a cashless platform designed to enable the easy exchange of money. It allows the transfer of funds between individuals and businesses using QR codes.

Established in May 2017, Pring currently operates with 53 banks and charges a usage fee of 50 yen (38c) per transaction.

The acquisition was first reported by Nikkei Asia last week with an estimated value between 20bn and 30bn yen.

Pring’s website has since confirmed the deal, stating that the company has entered an agreement with Google, but there would be no changes to its services at this time.

The companies reported to be selling their shares to Google include fintech firm Metaps, the software company Miroku Jyoho Service Co and Nippon Gas Co. Together, they own 87pc of the Tokyo company.

According to Reuters, Metaps is reported to be selling its 45pc stake for 4.9bn yen (roughly $44m).

Meanwhile, Nippon Gas stated that it would gain 1.2bn yen from the deal, which will acquire “all portions of its holding securities”. Nippon expects the acquisition to be finalised by 31 March 2022.

According to Nippon, Google in fact offered to acquire “all of the securities of the company from all current shareholders”.

Nippon first invested in Pring in 2018, in an effort to accelerate its own cashless initiatives as a core part of its digital transformation.

Google itself already operates a worldwide cashless system with its Google Pay platform. Formerly known as Android Pay, the system was set up in 2015 as the successor to their 2011 Google Wallet.

Google Pay has some operations in Ireland servicing Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank, AIB and more, while also facilitating purchases on its Google Play Store.

Google has yet to release a statement regarding the acquisition.

Sam Cox is a journalist at Silicon Republic covering sci-tech news

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