LINE buys Japanese credit card payment platform WebPay


LINE Corporation, operators of the popular instant messaging and chat app LINE, today announced the acquisition of the Japanese online payment startup WebPay.

Despite not saying exactly how WebPay will be used by the company, the agreement will see WebPay become part of LINE Pay, and will be used to further develop Line’s payment services.

WebPay was founded around two years ago and provides credit card and payment services on mobile apps and e-commerce sites.

With LINE Pay, users of the LINE messaging app can transfer money to other LINE users as as well as use the service for in app purchases of stickers and games. However, with WebPay on board, it is now highly likely that LINE Pay will be able to offer payment services on other sites at some point in the future.

The acquisition of WebPay, comes hot on the heels of news on Monday that LINE will launch its own investment fund and follows the recent launches in Thailand of LINE TV, a YouTube style video streaming service, as well as its own online grocery store.

In Tokyo, the company also offers a taxi app similar to Uber, and earlier this year opened the world’s first LINE theme park in Taiwan.

These recent acquisitions and launches are part of LINE’s plan to become the complete “life” platform for all users both on and offline. It also signals LINE’s intention to diversify its portfolio and ensure that it isn’t too reliant on its popular messaging app and games for revenue.

LINE was recently awarded Best International Startup at the Crunchies, organised by TechCrunch and VentureBeat.

Source: LINE, via Tech in Asia