Japan’s leading venture capital firm SBI Investment has been revealed as the lead investor in the Series B round of financing in bitcoin exchange Kraken.
In an announcement via a press release today, bitcoin exchange Kraken revealed it had secured a “multi-million dollar agreement” with SBI Investment. The exact terms of the deals weren’t disclosed.
SBI Investment is the venture capital arm of parent company SBI Holdings, a conglomerate that deems itself as the world’s first internet-based financial group of the kind. The conglomerate is made up of some 208 companies with revenues of $2 billion in 2015. This includes an operating income of approx. $570 million, last year.
The investment from SBI follows its recent foray into the Fintech space following its partnership with Ripple to facilitate cross-border payments in south-east Asian countries. A new company called SBI Ripple Asia will serve China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea and ASEAN countries with enterprise solutions for cross-border payments at banks.
In a statement, SBI Holdings CEO Yoshitaka Kitao talked up investing in the bitcoin- and blockchain-space.
We knew that we wanted to invest in Bitcoin and the blockchain. We wanted a company that would be a wise strategic investment. Kraken has been a leading global bitcoin exchange for years.
Noting that Kraken had seen tremendous growth in recent years, he claimed Kraken “was the clear choice” for an investment in the bitcoin and blockchain industry.
Besides operating as an exchange that sees its client trade in Japanese yen, Kraken was also selected by a court-appointed trustee in Tokyo to help MtGox creditors in the aftermath of the now-defunct exchange scandal. As of September 2015, the investigation of missing bitcoins sees 202, 159 bitcoins recovered, along with approx. $11.5 million which is to be disbursed to approximately 25,000 creditors.
Kraken CEO Jesse Powell stated:
SBI’s investment means a lot to us…It’s a fantastic step toward completing Series B, which will ultimately enable us to scale our business worldwide.
Kraken previously announced its Series A funding at $5 million in March 2014, led by venture capital firm Hummingbird Ventures. The round also saw participation from Blockchain Capital and Digital Currency Group, among others.
The investment into its Series B funding round for Kraken comes within a fortnight after the bitcoin exchange giant’s endeavor into the North American market after its acquisition of US-based Coinsetter and Canadian exchange Cavirtex.
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