STOCK Evering smart ring
MTG’s smartring 'Evering' Image Credit: Evering Corp.

Smart Ring That Acts as Wallet and Key Gets Backing From Big Japanese Firms

Itochu Corp., Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. and other companies are planning to invest in Evering, a chip-embedded smart ring that can act as a wallet and a key, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Evering is backed by MTG Co., a listed Japanese health and beauty company. MTG struck a contract with Visa Inc. last year and began selling rings in Japan, which cost about 20,000 yen ($158) apiece, including tax.

As retailers around the world seek ways to make it easier for consumers to shop seamlessly without touching anything, Evering and MTG are betting that their smart ring will resonate with early adopters. Made out of zirconia, the finger-worn gadget lets people do things such as lock and unlock doors, as well as pay for drinks in stores.

More than 10 investors are considering investing a total of around 1 billion yen in Evering, which may eventually seek a public listing, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the negotiations aren't public. Potential backers include Daiwa House Industry Co. and Toppan Inc., with an announcement due soon.

A representative for MTG declined to comment on investors. Spokespeople for Mitsubishi UFJ and Toppan declined to comment. Itochu and Daiwa House representatives didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made touchless payments a much more popular method of purchasing. Evering users can pay for goods by holding it over a payment terminal. The ring, which is waterproof and doesn't require charging, is linked to a credit card and payment histories can be accessed via smartphones.

MTG, which went public in 2018, also offers the Sixpad exercise system and facial products.

Yoshihito Ohta, MTG's chairman, said in an interview last year that his goal is for Evering to reach a market capitalization of at least 100 billion yen.