Japanese messaging app Line is investing $182m (JPY 20bn) into its mobile payment business, Line Pay, in a bid to shift the company’s fortunes.
The move follows a challenging year, which saw the company post a loss of JPY 5.79bn despite growing revenues 24% to JPY 207.18bn.
According to TechCrunch, Line’s focus on building content around its messaging and gaming platforms, which included an e-commerce business, job service and manga platform have proven to be expensive exercises.
Line is now betting on payments to turn its fortunes, increase engagement across the ecosystem and help bolster the company.
It is looking to replicate the success of Chinese tech giants Alibaba and Tencent and their mobile payments divisions, AliPay and TenPay, which have seen massive growth in recent years.
As the dominant app in Japan with more than 50 million registered users, Line is also seeking to secure the cashless opportunity in Japan. Its mobile payment business has already launched a collaboration with Tencent and is launching a credit card with Visa and has also launched a financial corporation.
Line Pay is also looking to international markets and is currently available in Thailand, Taiwan and Indonesia. Line claims to have 165 million monthly active users and 40 million registered Line Pay users.