Japanese Bitcoin Exchange bitFlyer Raises $27 Million in Funding Round

Japanese digital currency exchange bitFlyer announced today the successful completion of a ¥3 billion ($27 million) Series C funding round, which was led by the SBI Group’s investment division, SBI Investment.

According to a report by Nikkei Asian Review, Tokyo-based VC firm Venture Labo Investments also participated in the funding round.

This deal marks the largest investment in a Japanese fintech firm so far. In January of last year, Barry Silbert’s DCG invested $1.1 million in bitFlyer. Later that year, bitFlyer raised another ¥510 million ($4 million) from Venture Labo Investments, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co and Dentsu Digital Holdings Inc.

The fresh influx capital will allow bitFlyer to focus on R&D in the blockchain arena and to bolster its infrastructure to handle the large influx of new users:

“The exchange has served more than 150,000 users in April, 10 times the year-earlier level.”

In an interview with CoinDesk, bitFlyer CEO Yuzo Kano – who started the exchange in 2014 after leaving his derivatives trader position at Goldman Sachs – said that his company is one of the few fintech business in the country that caters to bitcoin traders as well as blockchain-related projects.

Kano explained:

“Investors value our technical advantage. We are almost the only company that has been focusing on both virtual currency and blockchain from day one.”

After factoring in the initial $1.6 million that Kano raised to start bitFlyer in 2014, today’s funding round brings the total amount of capital invested in the firm to more than $34 million.


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