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Liquid.com announces first close of ongoing Series C funding, hits tech unicorn status

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TOKYO, April 3, 2019 -- Global cryptocurrency platform Liquid.com ("Liquid") today announced the first close of an ongoing Series C funding that puts the company valuation at over US$1 billion.

This valuation establishes Liquid as one of only two tech unicorns in Japan's startup space. Founded in 2014, Liquid has achieved unicorn status in less than five years.

This latest round of funding is led by investment firm IDG Capital, with participation from the world's largest maker of cryptocurrency mining rigs, Bitmain Technologies. This investment in Liquid marks an addition to IDG's current portfolio of crypto investments, which include Coinbase, Ripple, Bitmain and Kakao's crypto unit. This deal marks the latest investment for Bitmain this year into a regulated digital asset trading platform, following their investment into ErisX, another derivatives and digital asset trading platform aiming to be a licensed Commodity Futures Trading Commission-regulated futures market and clearinghouse.

Liquid has previously raised more than US$20 million from venture funding, which includes leading Japanese investment firms JAFCO, SBI, B Dash Ventures, Mistletoe, and ULS Group. In 2017, Liquid raised more than US$100m in a pre-discounted ICO raise, which was the first regulated ICO to be done in Japan.

Proceeds from the ongoing Series C funding will be used to fuel global expansion, product development of the core trading exchange business and entering into the security token market.

Liquid CEO Mike Kayamori said: "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. 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."

Bitmain Co-founder Jihan Wu said: "Japan is one of the leading nations in putting crypto industry under proper regulations, and Liquid Group has proven itself to be the exemplary player within such compliant rules. This is a very important and unique moat amid global competition."

General Partner of IDG Capital Young Guo said: "IDG has been actively investing in the global crypto space since 2012, identifying some key players early. We came to realize that Tokyo has emerged as a top destination for crypto innovation and it is our honor to back such visionary pioneers as Liquid Co-founders Mike Kayamori and Mario Gomez Lozada to carry out this innovation."

ABOUT IDG CAPITAL

Founded in 1992, IDG Capital is a leading investment firm with over US$20 billion in AUM, focused on developing extraordinary companies through expertise in private equity and venture capital, as well as real estate. IDG Capital is the first firm to bring foreign venture capital into China.

IDG Capital brings a powerful combination of global perspective and local experience to investment management. As long-term value investors, IDG Capital is highly skilled at mobilizing global resources to address local needs, especially for Inbound and outbound opportunities in China and the rest of Asia. Its highly skilled team has an in-depth understanding of the Chinese market and enjoys close relationships with many influential business leaders.

ABOUT BITMAIN TECHNOLOGIES

Founded in 2013, Bitmain transforms computing by building industry-defining technology in cryptocurrency, blockchain, and artificial intelligence (AI). Bitmain leads the industry in the production of integrated circuits for cryptocurrency mining, as well as mining hardware under the Antminer brand. The company also operates the largest cryptocurrency mining pools worldwide -- Antpool.com and BTC.com. Bitmain technology supports a wide range of blockchain platforms and startups.

ABOUT LIQUID

Founded in 2014, we are a leading global fintech company that operates Liquid.com ("Liquid"), a global cryptocurrency platform that provides trading, exchange, and next generation financial services powered by blockchain technology. With offices in Japan, Singapore and Vietnam, Liquid combines a strong network of local partners with extensive team experience in banking and financial products to deliver best in class financial services for its customers.

Today, Liquid is the world's largest crypto-fiat platform by transaction volume, regulated in Japan. Powered by the World book, which provides customers enhanced price matching and deeper liquidity for various fiat and cryptocurrency pairs, Liquid offers trading services for major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum against fiat currency pairs in Japanese yen, US, Singapore and Australian dollar, and Euro.

As part of the Liquid roadmap, we are developing a range of new features and services including a distributed ledger, which will allow other fintech companies to build their products and services on distributed ledger technology.

In the span of two years:

  • September 2017 -- We became the first global cryptocurrency exchange to be officially licensed by the Japan Financial Services Agency.
  • October 2017 -- We became the first licensed global cryptocurrency exchange in Japan to launch a global Initial Coin Offering (ICO), also known as the Qash Token Sale.
  • November 2017 -- We successfully raised 350m Qash (the equivalent of 350K ETH or ~USD105m) in an oversubscribed ICO, to fund the growth of the Liquid platform.
  • September 2018 -- Our historical trading platforms, Quoinex and Qryptos, were merged and relaunched as Liquid.
  • July 2018 -- Our trading platforms exceeded USD50 billion in transaction volume in the past 12 months.

More than just a cryptocurrency exchange, Liquid offers powerful trading features which include:

  • Margin trading of up to 25x leverage for select crypto-fiat pairings
  • 100x trading on Bitcoin CFDs
  • A sophisticated user dashboard for pro traders
  • Secure cold wallet storage and KYC compliance for individual and corporate customers
  • Proprietary World Book technology that matches orders across global order books, providing access to liquidity pools sourced by a unified platform, Liquid.com

More information is available at Liquid.com.

This content is not financial advice and should not form the basis of any financial investment decisions nor be seen as a recommendation to buy or sell any good or product. Trading cryptocurrency is complex and comes with a high risk of losing money, particularly if you trade on leverage. You should carefully consider whether trading cryptocurrencies is right for you and take the time to learn how trading works and decide how much money you are prepared to lose.

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