South Korean bitcoin startup Coinplug has raised W7.5 billion ($6.4 million) in its venture funding round backed by the venture arms of the country’s major financial institutions, according to a statement.
The Kyonggido-based bitcoin exchange provider said the funding came from KB Investment, the venture capital unit of KB Financial Group; Mirae Asset Venture Investment, a listed subsidiary of Mirae Asset Daewoo; and Smilegate Investment, a venture capital and private equity firm specialising in M&A, buyout, early, and mezzanine stages.
Mirae Asset Venture Investment previously participated in Coinplug’s Series A funding round in 2014 while KB Investment backed the startup’s Series B in 2015. The combined Series A and B rounds brought it a total of W15 billion won.
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Coinplug, founded by Jay Hong and Ryan Uhr in 2013, said it will use the fresh investment to expand the development of its technology and services. The company is introducing blockchain technology in various fields such as gaming, energy, etc.
It will focus on decentralised identification technologies (DIT), an area that has drawn significant interest from the Korean government and major banks in the country. This explains the interest of major local financial institutions in Coinplug.
The firm provides a bitcoin exchange and wallet service, two-way ATM, and payment processing service targetting Korea and other Asian markets. Consumers and merchants use the company’s services to accept bitcoin.
“Coinplug is a blockchain technology company that provides blockchain-based solutions and services to change everyday life,” the company said on its website.
Coinplug’s latest funding and its focus on blockchain technology came as South Korean President Moon Jae-In stressed the importance of the development of new regulatory approaches towards new technologies, such as blockchain.
“While regulatory innovation in the era of industrialisation was a matter of choice, it is now a question of survival as we are experiencing the fourth industrial revolution, characterised by fusion across industries and fields,” President Moon said.