Bitcoin exchange Kraken takes investment from big Japanese financial group


Bitcoin exchange Kraken (Payward, Inc.) has announced a new investment from leading Japanese venture capital firm SBI Investment.

The amount of the investment was not disclosed and was only named as “multi-million”, and will form part of a Series B round Kraken is currently raising.

SBI Investments’ parent company the SBI Holding has interests in over 200 companies operating in 20 countries in sectors including financial services, asset management and biotechnology, and generates over $2 billion in revenue annually.

Of note, SBI offers full service insurance and banking services, as well as a securities business, and even a financial media arm.

“We knew that we wanted to invest in Bitcoin and the Blockchain. We wanted a company that would be a wise strategic investment,” SBI Holdings Chief Executive Officer Yoshitaka Kitao said in a statement. “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.”

Busy time

The investment from SBI comes at a busy time for Kraken following the announcement that it had acquired New York-based Bitcoin exchange Coinsetter Inc. and Canadian exchange Cavirtex in mid-January, and the launch of the range of new products throughout 2015 including a dark pool exchange service and a maker-taker fee model.

Kraken now claims to be the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange by Euro volume and transactions, and that in the last two years traders have made over $1.4 billion in transactions on the platform while trading Bitcoin and other digital assets in Euros, U.S. dollars, Japanese yen, British pounds, and Canadian dollars.

Prior to its Series B round, Kraken has raised $6.5 million over two rounds from investors including Hummingbird Ventures, Blockchain Capital, Trammel Ventures, Digital Currency Group, Roger Ver, and a number of individual investors.

The company says that the new funds part will assist them in scaling the business worldwide while continues to meet the fast-increasing demands of an emerging ecosystem of Blockchain-enabled assets.”

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