Japan’s Ginco raises $1.4M seed round from Global Brain, developing cypto wallet app

From left: Sayako Kaji (Global Brain, Venture Partner), Shohei Ichimiya (Global Brain, Principal), Yasuhiko Yurimoto (Global Brain, CEO), Muuto Morikawa (Ginco, CEO), Yohei Fusayasu (Ginco, COO), Masataka Morishita (Ginco, CTO)
Image credit: Ginco

See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Ginco, the Japanese startup developing a multi-cryptocurrency wallet app, announced on Wednesday that it raised 150 million yen (about $1.4M US) from Global Brain in the seed round. The company is currently developing a wallet app called Ginco that corresponds to the Ethereum key currency ETH (Ether), planning to release the iOS version in early February and the Android version in May. The funds raised this time will be devoted to development and the consolidation of a marketing system.

News of Coincheck’s NEM leakage has made headlines around the world, but one reason the damage has grown is that much of the cryptourrency held by users was stored on the exchange. There are cases where exchanges provide wallets, but startups developing cold wallets and hardware wallets are drawing attention globally as they also make it possible to trade cryptocurrencies across multiple exchanges, optimize asset allocation, and provide a certain level of storage security of cryptocurrencies.

The ecosystem created by a blockchain, like various systems and networks, is easy to understand if you organize it by layer and progression as follows:

Infrastructure > Enhanced Technologies > dApp (decentralized apps) > On-Chain function > Off-Chain function

The primary focus of Ginco, its cryptocurrency wallet app, is centered around dApp and the On-Chain function, and the company plans to expand its business in a multifaceted manner while watching trends in the ecosystem development. In the future, we were told that they have the possibility of developing with DEXs (decentralized exchanges).

Image credit: Ginco

Ginco’s predecessor AltaApps is a blockchain technology developer and consultancy headed by Muuto Morikawa. Our readers may recall Morikawa was previously introduced as the COO of the startup Onokuwa, which develops its own currency called CLAP. Morikawa is involved in various projects based on blockchain, among which Ginco is the closest to consumers, and whether accidental or inevitable, it can be described as the timely solution that cryptocurrency holders need. Although Ginco initially only supports ETH, it will correspond to ERC 20, BTC, BCH, XRP, Ripple and so on in the future.

In only about one month since the establishment of the company, and with a few days still left from the launch of the teaser site, already 1,000 people have completed the pre-registration for sign-up. Currently, about 20 employees, including full-time, outsourced and part-time workers, are working hard towards the release of the wallet app. Among them are three app designers, and Morikawa remarked that he is particularly interested in pursuing user experience.

Global Brain, the sole investor this round, founded the new subsidiary GB Blockchain Labs (GBBL) last year, and in addition to creating new funds focused on blockchain startups, along with Omise it is deeply involved in nurturing blockchain startups and fostering communities. The investment in Ginco is a reflection of this strategy. Morikawa also talked heatedly of his vision for the future, saying that the key to the success of blockchain businesses lies in participating in the community and that Ginco hopes to coexist and gain mutual prosperity with blockchain startups like Omise / OmiseGo and cryptocurrency apps like Bread.

Translated by Amanda Imasaka
Edited by Masaru Ikeda