On October 12, 2023, Alpaca, a comprehensive global brokerage platform based in San Mateo, California, made public its strategic alliance with Japan’s financial behemoth SBI Holdings (SBI). This partnership has been further cemented with a USD15 million investment from SBI, aimed at propelling Alpaca’s business ventures across Asia.
This alliance is a significant stride towards amplifying Alpaca’s business operations and increasing its accessibility to enterprise-level financial institutions in Asia, especially for clearing and executing US securities. The investment is a part of a broader initiative to enhance Alpaca’s reach in the Asian market, which is evident from its recent procurement of a broker-dealer license from Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA). This license is a key enabler for Alpaca to provide the requisite brokerage infrastructure to financial institutions and startups, facilitating US stock investment services to their clientele.
The USD15 million investment from SBI is structured as a convertible note, incrementing Alpaca’s total funding to USD120 million since its establishment in 2015. This investment is foreseen to significantly accelerate Alpaca’s expansion in Asia, as mentioned by Yoshi Yokokawa, CEO of Alpaca. Currently, Alpaca serves over 5 million end-users through more than 100 corporate partners across nearly 30 countries, with a considerable client base in Asia. This partnership is anticipated to broaden Alpaca’s customer base in Japan, leveraging SBI’s expansive network in the financial sector.
Post its Series B funding round in 2021, Alpaca has witnessed a remarkable growth with a 17-fold increase in revenue and a 15-fold surge in the number of investing applications on its platform, which now stands at around 150. Alpaca has plans on the anvil for introducing new products and services, such as options, bonds, mutual bonds, and individual retirement account options, primarily targeting the U.S. market. The firm has streamlined its operations, reducing its workforce to 150 from 175, as a measure to enhance operational efficiency.
Alpaca, since the launch of its crypto API post its Series B round in 2021, has been nurturing a robust community for developers. While the crypto business hasn’t been a significant revenue generator, the CEO is optimistic about its growth with the revival of the crypto market. The crypto API is a vital tool for developers and businesses to integrate crypto and stock trading services, embodying Alpaca’s vision of fostering a developer-centric ecosystem.
Alpaca’s journey has been backed by a plethora of investors, including Portage Ventures, Spark Capital, Tribe Capital, Social Leverage, Horizons Ventures, Unbound, Elefund, Positive Sum, and Y Combinator, reflecting a strong vote of confidence in its business model and future prospects.
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