Japanese exchange Bitflyer has announced a 50 million Yen investment into a new fund which will see Osaka-based IoT startup Sivira as the first company to benefit from the fund. According to the exchange, this is in an effort to support and encourage the growth of blockchain businesses in Japan. Bitflyer has termed this new investment activity, “Block Chain Angel Fund.” Even though this is Bitflyer’s first investment of this type, it sounds as though it will not be their last.
In its press release, Bitflyer states that it chose to make the investment in Sivira because of the track record and vision of the group. In particular Bitflyer points to the Sivira platform “hublive” that aids in connecting the burgeoning IoT with distributed ledger technology. Bitflyer sees this investment as an opportunity to continue to ” build a global network by expansion into Asia, Europe and the United States.”
Moving forward, Bitflyer underlines five considerations for these type of investments. They want to focus on seed funding, apply the Bitflyer expertise and “know-how” to fintech investments, leverage the Bitflyer network to expand portfolio companies overseas, help portfolio companies with introductions to larger groups already associated with Bitflyer, and of course, provide introductions for subsequent rounds.
Bitflyer is one of the most noteworthy groups in this space to come out of Japan. To date, they have raised $7.6M in funding. This type of renewed regional activity is refreshing considering the Mt. Gox situation a few years ago and it seems to be heating up.
Although attention to IoT is accelerating, Bitflyer is looking at this investment from a multifaceted perspective. With this type of horizontally supporting investment, it is clear that Bitflyer not only wants to help build and support the blockchain eco-system in Japan, but also it wants to lead the regional charge in advancing these companies to the world market. Considering the reach and international carry of an IoT/ blockchain integration tool, Bitflyer has taken a strong first step in accomplishing that goal.
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