The Japanese cryptocommerce platform Liquid has reached the status of unicorn with the first closing of an ongoing financing of the Series C that places the valuation of the company in more than USD 1,000 million. The news was reported by Cointelegraph Japan on April 3.
Liquid’s parent company is Quoine, a global fintech company licensed by the Japan Financial Services Agency.
As Cointelegraph Japan reports, the new financing and the new valuation make Liquid the second unicorn in the country in the space of technology startups, the other being the artificial intelligence company Preferred Networks, which has the backing of Toyota, Fanuc, Hitachi and others.
The first closing of the Liquid C Series was led by the US investment firm IDG Capital, with the participation of the leading Chinese crypto mining manufacturer Bitmain Technologies.
IDG has previously invested in other important companies in the crypto industry, such as Coinbase, Ripple, Kakao and Bitmain crypto. Bitmain’s participation supposedly marks its second endorsement of a regulated digital assets trading platform, following its contribution to a Series B round for the exchange of ErisX cryptocurrencies and derivatives in December 2018.
Katsuya Konno, representative director and head of the Quoine CEO’s office, told Cointelegraph that the new financing will be used to boost global expansion, product development of the core business of the exchange and entry into the security token market.
Cointelegraph Japan points out that despite Liquid’s unicorn valuation, funding sealed in Series C so far is relatively small, amounting to 1 billion yen ( ~USD 9 million).
Previously, Liquid had raised more than USD 20 million in risk funds, which included the main Japanese investment companies JAFCO, SBI, B Dash Ventures, Mistletoe and ULS Group. In 2017, Liquid had raised more than USD 100 million in an increase in the initial offer of currencies (ICO) regulated by the FSA and with a prior discount.
As previously reported, the main US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase became the first unicorn in the industry after having raised USD 100 million in August 2017, which implies a business valuation of USD 1,600 million. More recent reports have suggested that the platform could have achieved a valuation of up to USD 8,000 million in its autumn 2018 funding negotiations with Tiger Global and others.
Also published on Medium.