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Cryptocurrency

Here's How Japan's Crypto Trading Platform Became a Unicorn In Five Years

Here's How Japan's Crypto Trading Platform Became a Unicorn In Five Years
Image credit: Pexels
Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific
3 min read

Crypto has become one of the biggest buzzwords in the finance and tech space. Despite innumerable challenges, the industry is seeing a rise in crypto startups. Global cryptocurrency platform Liquid.com ("Liquid"), is riding on a wave of enthusiasm as it closed its latest funding round. With the closing of Series C funding, the company has reached a valuation of US$ 1 billion. This valuation establishes Liquid as one of only two tech unicorns in Japan's startup space.

With offices in Japan, Singapore and Vietnam, Liquid provides trading, exchange, and next generation financial services powered by blockchain technology, it combines a strong network of local partners with extensive team experience in banking and financial products to deliver best in class financial services for its customers.

In 2017, Liquid became the first global cryptocurrency exchange to be officially licensed by the Japan Financial Services Agency.

Race to $1 Billion

Founded in 2014, Liquid has achieved unicorn status in less than five years. This latest round of funding is led by investment firm IDG Capital, with participation from the world's largest maker of cryptocurrency mining rigs, Bitmain Technologies. This investment in Liquid marks an addition to IDG's current portfolio of crypto investments, which include Coinbase, Ripple, Bitmain and Kakao's crypto unit. This deal marks the latest investment for Bitmain this year into a regulated digital asset trading platform, following their investment into ErisX, another cryptocurrency trading platform.

Bitmain Co-founder Jihan Wu commented on the investment saying, "Japan is one of the leading nations in putting the crypto industry under proper regulations, and Liquid Group has proven itself to be the exemplary player within such compliant rules. This is a very important and unique moat amid global competition."

The Story so far                                       

Liquid has previously raised more than $20 million from venture funding, which includes leading Japanese investment firms JAFCO, SBI, B Dash Ventures, Mistletoe, and ULS Group. In 2017, it raised more than $100m in a pre-discounted ICO raise, which was the first regulated ICO to be done in Japan. The funds from the ongoing Series C funding will be used to fuel global expansion, product development of the core trading exchange business and entering into the security tokens’ market.

Liquid Chief Executive Officer Mike Kayamori said in a statement “As we enter into a new age of digital disruption in financial services, consumers are increasingly placing a higher value on digital assets and technologies they can trust and use with greater ease. Our vision is to make financial services accessible to all, which means bringing more people into the digital asset space so that anyone can be a part of it. This first round of Series C funding from our two highly respected investors, IDG Capital and Bitmain, puts us in an incredibly strong position to make a global impact in 2019."

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