DMM, one of Japan’s largest Internet and e-commerce conglomerates, announced today that it will pay 7 billion yen (about $62.2 million) for pawn shop app Cash. Launched this summer, Cash’s software automatically appraises an item’s value based on user photos and offers a cash advance with it as collateral.
Cash was developed by Bank, a startup launched by serial entrepreneur Yusuke Mitsuomoto earlier this year. Mitsuomoto’s previous startup, an e-commerce platform called Stores.jp, sold to Zozotown, one of Japan’s largest online clothing retailers, for an undisclosed sum in 2013.
Bank has just six employees and the startup was apparently overwhelmed when Cash first launched on June 28. Less than a day after it started service, Cash temporarily suspended operations after it was flooded with appraisal requests, many submitted by pranksters who uploaded photos of things like ramen. Cash then relaunched on August 24 after improvements were made to its system.
The acquisition of Cash by DMM means the app now has access to financial resources and talent to support its growth and expansion into new markets. Mitsuomoto told TechCrunch in an email that the company believes there are business and market opportunities outside of Japan, but have not yet decided exactly when to expand abroad.
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