Cryptocurrency Startup Becomes Japan’s 2nd Billion-Dollar Tech Unicorn
Liquid.com, a Japan-based cryptocurrency platform, announced the successful closure of its Series C fundraising round, which saw the company achieve a total valuation of over US$1 billion — making it one of only two tech unicorns in the country’s startup industry. It took Liquid less than five years to achieve this prized $1 billion title.
Series C funds will be used for the purposes of global expansion and product development.
Liquid’s Series C investment round was spearheaded by IDG Capital and Bitmain Technologies, one of the world’s largest (and most controversial) makers and users of cryptocurrency mining rigs. The former company is already invested in Coinbase, Ripple, Bitmain, and Kakao’s cryptocurrency company, while the latter has recently invested in ErisX, a derivatives-and-crypto asset trading platform with goals to gain a license from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Bitmain co-founder Jihan Wu, who recently stepped down as CEO after a dismal year, stated via a press release:
Japan is one of the leading nations in putting 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.
Young Gao, General Partner of IDG Capital, likewise stated:
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.
IDG Capital and Bitmain Technologies are not the only high-profile investors to pump funds into Liquid. The company has already raised more than US$20 million from JAFCO, SBI, B Dash Ventures, Mistletoe, and ULS Group, following a more than US$100m pre-discounted initial coin offering fundraising event — Japan’s first regulated ICO.
Liquid CEO Mike Karamori was understandably stoked following the successful fundraising round, stating:
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.