Global bitcoin exchange Kraken has secured a multi-million dollar agreement with SBI Investment, the venture capital arm of SBI holdings, the world’s first internet-based financial conglomerate.
The deal comes less than two weeks after Kraken’s acquisition of Coinsetter and Cavirtex, two of the most prominent exchanges in the U.S. and Canada. With a strong strategic partner like SBI investment, Kraken hopes to reach yet another milestone in 2016.
Over the next few months, the bitcoin firm will focus on scaling its business worldwide, establishing necessary infrastructure and resources to meet the growing demands of emerging blockchain-enabled assets.
“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,” said Kraken CEO Jesse Powell.
Since early 2014, Kraken has continued to transform into the world’s most secure and reliable exchanges in the bitcoin industry today. In March 2014, Kraken secured a US$5 million investment in Series A funding round, led by Hummingbird Ventures with participation from Digital Currency Group and Blockchain Capital. The firm was also selected by the Tokyo’s court appointed trustee to assist MtGox creditors in the investigation of missing bitcoins. In less than two years, Kraken has processed over US$1.4 billion worth of bitcoin transactions, while allowing traders to exchange bitcoin and other digital assets for US Dollars, Japanese, yen, British pounds, euros, Canadian dollars.
“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.“
SBI Holdings’ investment in Kraken is the US$28 billion financial services giant’s second official digital currency deal in 2016. Earlier this year, SBI invested in distributed ledger-based financial settlement solutions provider Ripple to explore cost efficient cross-border payment systems in ASEAN countries.
“Surveying the market, Ripple was the only company that has delivered battle-tested enterprise solutions and global bank customer traction, including commercial deals with top banks already signed in Asia Pacific,” said President and CEO of SBI Holdings Yoshitaka Kitao. “Distributed financial technology is undoubtedly transforming financial infrastructure and we’re excited to drive its adoption throughout Asia.”
SBI Holdings currently manages a variety of financial services brands including E-LOAN, E*TRADE, MorningStar, and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank. With stakes in Ripple and Kraken, the financial conglomerate will continue to establish its prescence in the fintech space and explore various opportunities for bitcoin and blockchain-based digital currencies.