Japanese cryptocurrency trading platform Liquid has reached unicorn status with the first close of an ongoing Series C funding round that now values the company at over $1 billion. Founded in 2014, Liquid has achieved unicorn status in less than five years and makes it one of only two tech unicorns in Japan’s startup space.
According to the press release, proceeds from the funding will be used to fuel global expansion, product development of the core trading exchange business and entering into the security token market.
The startup has secured funding from investors including venture fund IDG Capital and crypto mining titan Bitmain Technologies Ltd, although they have not disclosed any amounts. Liquid say that this puts them in an “incredibly strong position to make a global impact in 2019”.
Plans To Add More Mainstream Investors
Liquid has previously raised more than $20 million from venture funding and in 2017, they raised more than $100m in a pre-discounted ICO raise, which was the first regulated ICO to be offered in Japan.
Liquid CEO, Mike Kayamori said their plan is to add more investors. “This round will be purely strategic. We want to get traditional, mainstream [investors] on board”.
“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,” said Kayamori. “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”.
General Partner of IDG Capital, Young Guo said: “IDG has been actively investing in the global crypto space since 2012, identifying some key players early. We came to realize that Tokyo has emerged as a top destination for crypto innovation and it is our honor to back such visionary pioneers as Liquid Co-founders Mike Kayamori and Mario Gomez Lozada to carry out this innovation.”
Liquid has over 300 staff and has offices in Japan, Singapore, Vietnam and in the Philippines.