Liquid Group Inc. CEO Mike Kayamori discusses Series C funding and FinTech outlook.
Mike Kayamori: “Unicorn Startup: Series C funding & FinTech Outlook”
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I think a little bit of a introduction of myself. Natalie, thank you for introducing me but my name is Mike K. Emory and I'm the co-founder CEO of liquid group. We have several portfolio companies or subsidiaries under the group and coin Corporation is the Japanese entity that is licensed and regulated under the Japan Financial Services Agency. We are the first Global Exchange crypto exchange to be regulated and licensed under the Japanese regulation. And this was two thousand 17 September to this date. There's been maybe a few other global exchanges who are licensed now in Japan through acquisition but organically getting a license in Japan. We were we were the first and to the state the only one. I'm also surprised that. I was introduced or invited here to talk talk about our financing round because as a fintech company one billion dollar valuation is is just a number.
When you look at other financial services when you look at banks securities companies even other financial services there's multiple unicorns Deco corns and traditional banks that are valued at tens of billions of dollars. From that perspective it was surprising to hear and the response that I get in in the media around being a unicorn because I look at this as just a number. And going forward assuming we continue to be successful it's just a starting point. At the same time I am cognizant of the image that bring comes with the term unicorn which started in Silicon Valley about 10 years ago and that does bring a lot of responsibility at the same time unicorns also do fail. There is a lot of unicorn nuts who do not survive. So as as CEO and founder of my company it's important that we aim high but we also make sure that we progress and focus on our business. So a little bit of my myself and how I founded this company. So having lived both abroad and Japan I had the opportunity to study in university in Japan and also business school in the U.S. after studying business school I joined a venture capital firm and prior to that I worked in a Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi Corp. which is one of the most traditional conglomerates in Japan. I'm working on very traditional I'm an established businesses both going to business school and this was immediately after the dot com bubble.
So I went to HP s and two thousand and one. So the bubble burst in 2000 and 2001 and that was when I went to business school and and people were talking about how the Internet was dead. How. And also during that time there was an Enron incident where there was governance issues and and all the issues that was very critical about the environment in the U.S.. But when you go to business school it was all about innovation. So people knew it maybe in the media people were against Internet companies saying it was all about chasing eyeballs but at business school they were talking about how innovation was going to change the world. So that really spurred my interest on technologies and Internet. So I decided to leave Mitsubishi and join a D.C. firm after after business school and and I decided to stay there almost 10 years. So fast forward in 2010 and that was when the first wave of bitcoin came in the U.S.. So as you know two thousand and eight. There was a global financial crisis. Companies like Lehman Brothers Bear Stearns went out of business. And these were established financial services or banks that was in existence for over centuries. And and it started a global recession. So as an antithesis of that the big.