Kikitrade, an Asia-based cryptocurrency investment platform, today announced a US$12 million fund raise with investment from British hedge fund billionaire Alan Howard to accelerate its growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

Fast Facts:

  • The startup, which focuses on retail investors, intends to deploy the new capital in product development, compliance and growing its user base across Asia, specifically Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Southeast Asia, where cryptocurrency penetration rates are significantly lower than in the U.S., according to a company statement.
  • Allen Ng, a co-founder of Kikitrade, told Forkast.News that the company aims “to be the gateway for everyday people to learn more about crypto overall and to participate in it with the lowest level of friction.” He added that there was still a gap between mass awareness and mass adoption of crypto and that getting people more comfortable with crypto through a content- and community-focused approach would help with conversion. “This market is still is very much in its beginning,” Ng said. “In order for us to succeed as an industry, we need to able to go broader and go beyond just the early adopters.”
  • Ng says the recent cryptocurrency market correction was a “healthy” adjustment. “For the market to be more sustainable and continue to grow, we need to have this kind of adjustment to prevent the market from being overheated,” said Ng, adding that “if the market is crazy, overheated, then you might have at some point an even sharper drop that catches you off guard.”
  • Ng said he was disappointed by Hong Kong’s recently announced proposal to exclude retail investors — or investors with less than HK$8 million (US$1 million) — from trading crypto, but said the company remained hopeful because “at the end of the day, you can’t stop a mega-trend,” and he said he believed the Hong Kong government “would definitely change their mind at some point and open it up back to retail.”
  • Kikitrade was launched in Q4 2020. Its investors include Sequoia-affiliated Dragonfly Capital, blockchain gaming unicorn Animoca Brands and Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin. The startup was incubated last year by Everest Ventures Group, a digital asset company backed by several prominent families and conglomerates in Asia, including South Korea’s Hanwha family, Thailand’s CP Group family owners and Taiwan’s Quanta Computer owner family.