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