Liquid.com (Liquid) has announced the first close of an ongoing Series C funding that places the global cryptocurrency platform's valuation at more than $1bn and establishes the firm as one of just two tech unicorns in Japan's startup space.
Global cryptocurrency platform Liquid.com was founded in 2014 and has offices in Japan, Singapore and Vietnam. The platform provides trading, exchange and next-generation financial services powered by blockchain technology.
Regulated in Japan and powered by Quoine's World Book, Liquid offers trading services for cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Ethereum against fiat currency pairs in Japanese yen, Euro, and US, Singapore and Australian dollar. Its latest funding round was led by IDG Capital and featured the participation of cryptocurrency mining rigs maker Bitmain Technologies.
"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 Liquid CEO Mike 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. 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."
According to the company, funds raised from the ongoing Series C funding would be used to fuel its global expansion, product development and its entry into the security token market.
Liquid previously raised more than $20m from venture funding, which included Japanese investment firms JAFCO, SBI, B Dash Ventures, Mistletoe and ULS Group. In 2017, it raised more than $100m in a prediscounted ICO raise, which was the first regulated ICO to be completed in Japan.
Bitmain co-founder Jihan Wu said Japan was among the leading nations in terms of putting the crypto industry under what he described as "proper regulations", noting that Liquid had "proven itself to be the exemplary player within such compliant rules".