$2 billion Japanese conglomerate leads Kraken’s Series B round
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – February 1, 2016 – Today global bitcoin exchange Kraken announced a multi-million dollar agreement with SBI Investment, one of Japan’s leading and most respected venture capital firms, to invest in and lead the Series B round of financing in Kraken. SBI Investment is the venture capital arm of SBI Holdings, the world’s first Internet-based financial conglomerate. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
SBI Holdings, the parent company of SBI Investment, generated operating revenues of ¥245 billion in 2015, or over $2 billion dollars, including an operating income of ¥68.2 billion or approximately $570 million. The SBI Group consists of 208 companies (as of September 2015) operating in approximately 20 countries and regions, in sectors including financial services, asset management and biotechnology.
The announcement of the milestone agreement between Kraken and SBI Investment comes less than two weeks after announcing the acquisition of Coinsetter and Cavirtex, two of the oldest and most prominent exchanges in North America. The acquisitions marked a significant expansion for Kraken into the prime American and Canadian markets.
“We knew that we wanted to invest in Bitcoin and the blockchain. We wanted a company that would be a wise strategic investment,” said SBI Holdings CEO Yoshitaka Kitao. “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.”
In March 2014, Kraken announced that they had raised $5 million in Series A financing. The round was led by Hummingbird Ventures with participation from Blockchain Capital and Digital Currency Group, among others. In the 22 months since, Kraken has become a truly global bitcoin exchange. Traders have made over $1.4 billion in transactions on the platform while trading bitcoin and other digital assets for euros, US dollars, Japanese yen, British pounds, and Canadian dollars.
In 2014, Kraken was selected by the Tokyo’s court appointed trustee to assist MtGox creditors in the investigation of missing bitcoins, in filing claims, and in distributing remaining assets. As of September 2015, 202,159 bitcoin and $11,474,707 USD is expected to be disbursed to approximately 25,000 creditors.
Kraken CEO Jesse Powell said, “SBI’s investment means a lot to us. We’re proud to have such a strong strategic partner leading our round. It’s a fantastic first step toward completing Series B, which will ultimately enable us to scale our business worldwide. Kraken will be prepared to meet the fast-increasing demands of an emerging ecosystem of blockchain-enabled assets.”
For more information, visit www.kraken.com.
Based in San Francisco, Kraken is the world’s largest global bitcoin exchange in euro volume and liquidity. Kraken’s clients also trade US dollars, Canadian dollars, British pounds, Japanese yen and other digital currencies on a platform consistently rated the best and most secure bitcoin exchange by independent news media.
Founded in 2011, Kraken was the first bitcoin exchange to have its market data displayed on the Bloomberg Terminal, the first to pass a cryptographically verifiable proof-of-reserves audit, a partner in the first cryptocurrency bank, and one of the first exchanges to offer leveraged bitcoin margin trading. Kraken is trusted by hundreds of thousands of traders, institutions, and authorities across the world, from Toyko’s court-appointed trustee to Germany’s BaFin regulated Fidor Bank. In January 2016, Kraken announced that it was acquiring prominent bitcoin exchanges Coinsetter and Cavirtex to expand into American and Canadian markets.
Kraken is backed by investors including SBI Investment, Hummingbird Ventures, Blockchain Capital, and Digital Currency Group, among others.
About SBI Holdings
Established in 1999, SBI Holdings, Inc. emerged as a pioneer of Internet-based financial services. SBI Holdings provides a wide range of financial services including securities, banking and insurance and has become the world’s first Internet-based financial conglomerate. The company has recently diversified its business portfolio to include pharmaceuticals, health food and cosmetics. As of FY2014, SBI Holdings recorded JPY 245.0 billion in revenue and currently employs 5,464 executives and staff members as of September 2015. With its overseas offices in approximately 20 countries and regions, SBI Holdings endeavors to become No.1 financial company in Asia through strategic business expansion in Asian developing countries.
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