Japanese Bitcoin Exchange Launches ¥50 Million Startup Fund

Stan Higgins
Jan 27, 2016 at 16:12 UTC
Updated Apr 11, 2016 at 15:11 UTC

Japanese bitcoin exchange BitFlyer has created a new startup fund aimed at investing in companies working on blockchain technologies.

Dubbed the ‘Blockchain Angel Fund’, the newly created fund has an initial size of ¥50m, or roughly $421,000. BitFlyer said in a press release earlier this week that it will focus on seed-stage investments.

The first company to receive support is an app development startup called Sivira, based in Osaka, Japan.

According to its website, Sivira is currently developing a platform for connecting devices via blockchain, and is also working on a mobile app that lets users post their relationship statuses to the bitcoin blockchain.

BitFlyer founder and CEO Yuzo Kano told CoinDesk that it will aim to connect the startups it invests in with its network of investors and corporate entities in Japan, while providing its technical expertise to the teams.

The exchange raised more than $5m last year over two rounds. Drawing funds from both domestic and international investment groups, the rounds were closed in January and August.

Disclaimer: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in BitFlyer.