Japanese Conglomerate SBI Investment To Lead Kraken’s Series B Funding Round
Kraken, the San Francisco-based bitcoin exchange, announced on Monday a multi-million dollar agreement with SBI Investment, the venture capital arm of SBI Holdings, the world’s first Internet-based financial conglomerate, to invest in and lead the Series B round of financing in Kraken. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
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.”
The announcement follows the recent news about Kraken’s acquisition of Coinsetter and Cavirtex, two of the oldest and most prominent exchanges in North America.
SBI Investment is one of Japan’s leading and most respected venture capital firms. It's parent company, SBI Holdings, generated operating revenues of over $2 billion dollars in 2015, including an operating income of around $570 million. The SBI Group consists of 208 companies (as of September 2015) operating in nearly 20 countries and regions, in sectors including financial services, asset management and biotechnology.
“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."
Kraken raised $5 million in Series A financing in March 2014, led by Hummingbird Ventures with participation from Blockchain Capital and Digital Currency Group, and others. Since then, the company has made efforts to 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 EUR, USD, JPY, GBP and CAD.