BitKan, one of China’s leading providers of cryptocurrency services, announced today that it has secured $10 million USD in a Series B funding round. It plans to build momentum in the marketplace for the company’s newly-launched social network hub “K Site” and expand international operations.
This round of equity financing was led by a new investor, ZHONGYUNHUI Capital, with additional support from another new investor IDG Capital and existing investor Bitmain. It follows a $2.4 million Series A funding in 2016 and a $300,000 angel round in 2015.
BitKan has been one of China’s best-known Bitcoin and cryptocurrency data sites for over four years. Founded in 2012, it features price information, latest news articles, mining monitoring, price alerts and E-wallet services.
Mission: To Enhance China’s Crypto Community Value
“The capital injection will finance the development, promotion and operation of K Site as well as related products and services, such as E-wallet, payment and big data,” said BitKan CEO Fang Yu.
The new social media-like hub, dubbed “K Site”, is a new feature within BitKan’s app. K Site will host a variety of groups based on interests, and produce quality content including micro-blogs, full articles, videos and Q&A sessions.
To maintain a high content quality standard, users will be charged a small fee to join the groups. “Free content can only attract page views, but putting up a paywall can improve content quality considerably,” Yu added.
Since fabricated media reports, fake ICO white papers and scams have plagued China’s cryptocurrency market, investors and enthusiasts are in urgent need of valid information that can effectively guide investment decision-making.
“K Site’s target is in line with BitKan’s company philosophy,” said BitKan president Yang Liu. As many rivals are busy doing ICOs to make quick money, BitKan is fully focused on refining products and its own high sense of social responsibility, he added.
K Site will also have its own token dubbed “KAN”, which can be used to pay the coin-to-coin exchange fees and reward highest-rated content. Though KAN will be listed on exchanges, there won’t be an ICO.
The market for online paid content in China is increasing rapidly, and is estimated to reach 188 million by the end of 2017, according to a report published in December 2017 by consultant firm iMedia Research.
Specifically, users in the cryptocurrency industry are most motivated to pay for quality content. 46.2 percent of users will pay for financial content.
The Series B investors are optimistic about K Site’s market prospects, given BitKan’s existing strong user base.
“BitKan has more than 1 million users worldwide, and 10 percent of them are using the E-wallet service. They are eager to know more about this field, and have the habit to pay for information,” said Huang Ruilong, CEO of ZHONGYUNHUI Capital, a Shenzhen-based financing firm.
K Site will launch an open beta on April 20th, and BitKan has already started a plan to invite qualified content producers to open accounts in K Site.
Expanding BitKan’s Overseas Business
The investment will also speed up the company’s international expansion by extending BitKan’s user base abroad, according to Yu.
BitKan was one of the first Chinese cryptocurrency startups to branch out into the Western world — and do it well. To date, BitKan has more than 1 million registered users globally, 40 percent of which are from outside China. Both the BitKan website and mobile app are available in English, Chinese, Japanese and Russian.
The startup embarked on an international road as early as 2015, in close co-operation with Western media outlets such as Bitcoin.com, Bitcoin Magazine, CoinTelegraph and Bitsonline.
Now the formerly Shenzhen-based firm is recruiting international talent after recently setting up three new offices in Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo. At the beginning of the year, the company was valued at $100 million — compared to only $16 million in 2016.
Accepting ZHONGYUNHUI Capital, IDG Capital, and Bitmain to be its Series B investors is part of BitKan’s drive to expand overseas business.
“These investment firms are well-known outside China. Thus, adding them to our shareholders is beneficial for BitKan’s global expansion,” said Liu.
Can China and other countries share a crypto content base? How will it work? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.
Images via BitKan