Japanese SBI Investment Lead Multi-Million Dollars Funding for Kraken

By Staff Writer

Feb 02, 2016 06:00 AM EST

Kraken bitcoin exchange received a multi-million dollars Series B funding. SBI Investment, the Japanese venture capital firm lead the undisclosed amount of funding as announced on Monday.

Kraken bitcoin exchange was incorporated as Payward Inc, in 2011 by Jesse Powell with seed funding from Blockchain Capital. Three years later, March 2014, Kraken closed Series A funding round led by Hummingbird Ventures raising $5 million. Jesse Powell also founded Ripple Labs as a global real-time payment system in 2012, to provide enterprise-grade solutions to banks and financial institutions.

As the popularity of bitcoin increased, Kraken and Coinbase became the first bitcoin exchange whose market data is displayed on Bloomberg Terminal in April 2014. In order to respond to growing demand from client, Bloomberg provided its industry-leading terminal for multi-asset data, news and analytics with Bitcoin data, including the volume and order book data.

Since its beginning, Kraken aimed for international market. Powell plan to to expand its bitcoin trading in yen starting 2014, after it has received Korean won along with dollars and euro. On Monday, Japanese venture capital, SBI Investment announced to invest multi-million dollars and leading a Series B round of financing for the San Fransisco-based company.

Kraken will use the funding to expand its global operation. As Kraken CEO and founder Jesse Powell told in a statement as cited by Reuters, "SBI's investment means a lot to us. It's a fantastic first step toward completing Series B, which will ultimately enable us to scale our business worldwide."

SBI Investment is an investment unit of SBI Holdings, a Japanese financial service company which founded in 1999 as SoftBank Investment. SBI Holdings is a holding company of more than 200 companies operated in over 20 countries. In 2015, the holding company generated an operating revenues of more than $2 billion, with operating income of around $570 million.

CEO of SBI Holdings Yoshitaka Kitao told PE Hub Network regarding the investment, "We knew that we wanted to invest in Bitcoin and the blockchain. We wanted a company that would be a wise strategic investment."

Furthermore CEO Kitao said, "Kraken has been a leading global bitcoin exchange for years. They have grown tremendously during that time while building a strong reputation as one of the most innovative, secure, compliant, and reliable companies in this emerging financial services area. Kraken was the clear choice."

CoinDesk reported that the announcement of investment from SBI Holdings comes shortly after Kraken disclosed its acquisition of New York bitcoin exchange Coinsetter in an undisclosed deal.

With its new funding, Kraken is ready to expand its operation worldwide. SBI Investment, the Japanese venture capital firm lead the undisclosed amount of multi-million dollars funding to support the digital currency company.

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