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.
“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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