On August 12, 2015, BitFlyer, a Tokyo-based Bitcoin exchange, raised approximately JPY 510m ($4m) through third-party allotment, reads the company statement.
BitFlyer was launched in April of 2014 and aims to fill the gap in the Japanese market since the crash of Mt. Gox which lost bitcoins worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Such venture capital firms as Venture Labo, Dentsu Digital Holdings, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, financial media group Quick, and Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Company Limited participated in the round.
BitFlyer is the first investment for Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Company Limited(MUCAP), one of the oldest leading venture capital firms in Japan. MUCAP has financed more than 1000 companies, and currently has funds of about $500M invested in 500 firms.
BitFlyer CEO and founder Yuzo Kano said in an official statement that the funds raised by the company would be used to bolster the exchange’s security and improve its management system, reports Brave New Coin.
“In addition, bitFlyer will take advantage of synergies available with each investment organization, and will continue to promote customer base expansion, strengthen revenues, and expand our global business development,” said Kano.
In January, according to the company’s statement, a fundraising round of approximately JPY 130 million was closed “in order to expand its [bitFlyer’s] comprehensive Bitcoin platform and marketplace.”
Among investment organizations there were RSP Fund No. 5, GMO Venture Partners and Bitcoin Opportunity Corp which invested in bitFlyer as well as in several Bitcoin companies in 2014.
At that time Mr Kano introduced bitFlyer’s aims:
“The purpose of this funding will be to further strengthen our Bitcoin related businesses in the domestic as well as international markets, set up overseas offices, recruit new talent, accelerate service development, and carry out marketing and advertising campaigns to promote business growth.”
It’s necessary to say that BitFlyer used previously raised funds to create a truly Japanese experience like most businesses and products marketed to the island nation do. Plus, its features list is much larger than in the West. The company offers an institutional exchange for professional traders, a blockchain visualizer and explorer, an advertising network built on bitcoin, a marketplace, a crowdfunding website, and a consumer exchange business.
Moreover, bitFlyer launched a new user experience which aims to drive bitcoin adoption, and attract business. The exchange offers newly opened accounts with deposits of ¥10,000 ($80) or even the chance to win ¥10,000 encouraging new customers. The promotion closes on August 30 when 10 winners will be chosen.