BitFlyer Raises $1.1 Million from First-Time Japanese Bitcoin Investors
BitFlyer has closed a fundraising round of 130m JPY ($1.1m), led by Barry Silbert's Bitcoin Opportunity Corp, Recruit Holdings Ltd. subsidiary RSP Fund No. 5 and GMO Venture Partners.
In a statement, bitFlyer said it will use its new capital to set up overseas offices, improve security, recruit new talent, accelerate service development and carry out marketing and advertising campaigns to promote business growth.
When it announced its second funding round in October, CEO Yuzo Kano hinted Singapore may be bitFlyer's first overseas target thanks to its bitcoin-friendly regulatory environment.
The funding round included at least one familiar name to the bitcoin industry in Barry Silbert's Bitcoin Opportunity Corp.
Bitcoin Opportunity Corp invested in bitFlyer's previous round, and has been integral in funding numerous well-known digital currency startups around the world including BitPay, Coinbase, Ripple Labs and Xapo.
Recruit Strategic Partners, a subsidiary of Japan-based company Recruit, is a Tokyo-based venture capital firm that funds tech startups around the world, mainly in the US and Japan. It also has an office in Silicon Valley, and lists crowdsourcing and financial technology as two of its primary investment targets.
This is the first investment in a bitcoin firm for both Recruit and GMO.
BitFlyer also wants to use the new funding to expand its customer and revenue base by leveraging relationships with its investment partners, another factor it said will help its international operations.
One such relationship is with GMO parent and payments gateway GMO Holdings, through which bitFlyer has already gained access to over 48,000 online merchants and even started a bitcoin-based consumer rewards scheme through PointTown, owned by GMO Media.
A market-order style bitcoin exchange, bitFlyer charges 0.5% plus 0.0004 BTC on buys, and 0.01 BTC to sell. BitFlyer has also launched a mobile app for iOS devices and offers multiple tiers of accounts for personal and business customers.
Images via bitFlyer and Shutterstock
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