Japanese venture capital firm to invest in bitcoin exchange Kraken


NEW YORK Feb 1 Global bitcoin exchange Kraken
said on Monday Japanese venture capital firm SBI Investment will
invest in the company and lead a Series B round of financing for
the digital currency firm.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“SBI’s investment means a lot to us,” Kraken Chief Executive
Officer Jesse Powell said in a statement. “It’s a fantastic
first step toward completing Series B, which will ultimately
enable us to scale our business worldwide.”

SBI Investment is a unit of SBI Holdings, an internet-based
financial conglomerate with operating revenues of more than $2
billion in 2015 and operating income of around $570 million. The
SBI Group consists of 208 companies operating in approximately
20 countries and regions.

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

Kraken, based in San Francisco, raised $5 million in a
Series A financing in March 2014. The round was led by
Hummingbird Ventures with participation from Blockchain Capital
and Digital Currency Group, among other investors.

Less than two weeks ago, Kraken announced the acquisition of
digital currency exchanges Coinsetter and Cavirtex to strengthen
its expansion in North America.

Bitcoin on Monday last traded at $374.70, up 1.7
percent on the day.

(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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